Guild Wars 2 AMA today on r/Gaming

#1 Edited by Subjugation (4714 posts) -

The ArenaNet team has taken time out of their busy schedule to reach out to the Guild Wars 2 community and answer some questions directly. The r/Gaming subreddit is hosting an AMA where Mike O'Brien, Chris Whiteside, Mike Zadorojny‎‎, Mike Ferguson, Peter Giuntoli, Jon Peters, and Isaiah Cartwright are taking turns answering questions. They are hitting a lot of salient questions so I encourage you to go and check it out.

Some things that I have already seen addressed that some of us here were wondering about include guild size cap, putting another MMO out into the wild in this seemingly fickle MMO market, and yes, even the inevitable release date question.

On release date:

Why is there so much secrecy around Guild Wars 2 and the release window? I’m not asking for a release date, but I’d like to know a rough estimate of the time that the product I paid $59.99 for will be delivered and available for me to use. I’m positive that I am not the only one who has a desire to know what window of 2012 Guild Wars 2 will be released in.

Mike O'Brien's response:

We try to be very open and transparent with our fans, as I hope this AMA shows you.
Your concerns are all about release date. The fundamental issue here is that we just don't have a release date right now. We're using beta testing in the traditional sense. When beta testing shows that the game is where we want it to be, we'll lock in a release date.
I'm pumped about what we were able to accomplish for BWE2 and I think you guys will be too when you see it. We're not that far off. We're obviously going to release in 2012, and any statements to the contrary are absurd.
As for the "one month delay" versus "not one month delay", we have to line up distribution and retail sales so obviously we'll announce a release date in advance of the actual release, but we don't have a policy of "exactly X weeks in advance". Aidan was giving his personal take on this. Rubi is correct that there isn't a nailed down number of weeks notice.
~ MO

On gauging success:

Straight talk: How many copies do you need to sell to make this game a success?
How in the world can your MMO make money after SW:TOR, Aion, Rift, Tera and so many others have… well, not failed completely, but eeeeeeehh….. MMO's take so much work and money to produce, how can you recoup all that from box sales and cosmetic micro-transactions alone?Addendum: I've bought your game. I've pestered all my friends to buy Guild Wars 2. But I was listening to the Giant Bombcast {link @ ~1:09:00}talk on the dissolution of 38 Studios and the failure of SWTOR.
They seemed to think that WoW's numbers were a once-in-a-lifetime confluence of serendipitous events + polish and that people are finished with MMOs, excepting for trying the new hotness for a few months then abandoning it. How is your game going to prove them wrong?
Does it even need to prove them wrong? With no subscription, won't you make just as much if everyone abandons your game in 6 months anyway? That doesn't seem weird when you're paying $60 for Skyrim and getting ~200 hours of gameplay. Don't we abandon every game after 6 months of playing it? Will your quick expansions bring them and their money back?
Afterword: Your PR/marketing strategy/community guys deserve a raise. The hype for this game is off the charts. Love your effort to engage all of us and your response to the criticisms of the first beta weekend. Thanks for doing this.

Mike O'Brien's response:

First of all, what we all care about in an online world is making a living world that stands the test of time, where players can keep having fun with their friends year after year. So success isn't based on how many copies the game sells up front. Success is based on whether people keep playing the game over time. And financially, success is based on whether people keep supporting the game by buying new content.
Second, I'll address this idea that the time of MMOs is closing. If the word "MMO" means the same game mechanics that companies have been hashing out again and again for the last decade, fine, let them rot. But if you change the word "MMO" to "online world", then I bet we can agree that "online worlds" are only going to keep growing in importance.
~ MO

On guild size:

Will the guild cap. remain at 100 members for BWE2? If so, any plans to increase the capacity at launch?

Jon Peters' response:

The plan for guild cap is that guilds will be able to gain influence to up their cap. How this will work is not exactly determined yet, but the current limit of 100 is lower than the maximum a guild will be able to achieve.
Jon P

There is way more to be seen in the AMA as it is currently ongoing. I just wanted to provide a taste.

Edit: AMA is finished for now (they alluded to possibly answering more questions later, but they're done for today).

Here is the link to the Google doc of the compilation of questions and answers so you don't have to read the invariable sea of useless comments on Reddit.

#2 Posted by S0ndor (2715 posts) -

"We're obviously going to release in 2012, and any statements to the contrary are absurd."

Finally a fucking confirmation for 2012. Thank Dwayna.

#3 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

Glad to hear it's 2012, I was getting a bit worried that it would slip.

#4 Posted by Maystack (902 posts) -

I usually just wait until the AMA is over and r/guildwars2 summarises it. Good info on 2012. Still holding out for June 26th >.>

#5 Posted by UssjTrunks (534 posts) -

How come Guardians are the only Profession that are limited in range abilities? Everyone else has true-ranged skills, but Guardians have skills that can't go up inclines/ledges (they don't travel through the air, but on the ground)!

Response:

I actually updated those skills since the last BWE. Give scpeter a try I tried to make this the ranged option, particularly in WvW for Guardian.

Jon P

Made this exact suggestion on the beta forums (as did a million other people) and they listened. :D

#6 Posted by selfconfessedcynic (2495 posts) -
#7 Edited by Three0neFive (2285 posts) -

ew, reddit

arenanet just lost a sale.

#8 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3122 posts) -

I hope they up the starting limit for guild size. Otherwise we'll have to form multiple versions of Lincoln Force and do a consolidation down the road.

And c'mon, guys! They said 2012 release back in January! It's not "new"s.

#9 Posted by Subjugation (4714 posts) -

@selfconfessedcynic: Thanks for reminding me about that. I was too impatient to wait for the inevitable Google doc so I just read all of the posts in the ArenaNet account history. The guy making the Google doc is still in the process of making it organized but the raw information is there. Adding it to the OP.

#10 Edited by UssjTrunks (534 posts) -

@Dark_Lord_Spam said:

I hope they up the starting limit for guild size. Otherwise we'll have to form multiple versions of Lincoln Force and do a consolidation down the road.

That sucks. I don't understand why they decided to limit it in the first place.

#11 Posted by RobbieMac (534 posts) -

@Dark_Lord_Spam: If we max it the amount of influence being pumped into the guild will be huge, especially at release. I have a feeling we will up the capacity quickly. This would be a priority upon starting the guild.

Also Mike, "We're obviously going to release in 2012, and any statements to the contrary are absurd." I don't think it is that obvious considering the last 5 years have been "When it is ready."

#12 Posted by Maystack (902 posts) -

@Dark_Lord_Spam: In the AMA, they said that the guild cap would be able to be increased by another form of currency other than influence.

#13 Posted by Jayzilla (2554 posts) -

It was a great AMA. One of the reasons I love that company is they talk about what they are doing. We aren't a demographic to the designers. We are gamers just like them and they have the best art, mechanics, engineers, and designers in the industry.

#14 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3122 posts) -

@RobbieMac said:

Also Mike, "We're obviously going to release in 2012, and any statements to the contrary are absurd." I don't think it is that obvious considering the last 5 years have been "When it is ready."

To be fair.

#15 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@Subjugation said:

@selfconfessedcynic: Thanks for reminding me about that. I was too impatient to wait for the inevitable Google doc so I just read all of the posts in the ArenaNet account history. The guy making the Google doc is still in the process of making it organized but the raw information is there. Adding it to the OP.

Gamebreaker.tv has quite the list already. Not that I've got it in me to read that all. 21k words apparantly.

#16 Edited by UssjTrunks (534 posts) -

They were VERY thorough. I had asked Mike to clarify one of his responses (I only had 1 point on it, and it was a tough question), and he replied a few hours later (implying he probably went through all the questions again). I was very impressed.

And we actually got concrete answers this time, not the standard vague Twitter responses. They also didn't avoid the tough questions like they do on Twitter, which was great. They kept it honest.

#17 Posted by RobbieMac (534 posts) -

@Dark_Lord_Spam: Touche. Regardless, my argument isn't completely invalid if someone missed that blog post.

#18 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2495 posts) -

Oh, in case anyone is interested, I read through the whole thing when compiling show notes for the live show. Here are the topics in the order I think we'll be discussing them during the broadcast (and the list makes up everything on there that I found interesting).

  • Server numbers doubled! (we didn't get to talk about this on our last podcast)
  • "No, it almost certainly wont be on Steam. Valve has some business terms [that] will keep most new MMOs off Steam. Keep in mind that the GW2 client is free to download from our website and has no copy protection. (And if it's really important, you can add non-Steam games to your Steam library.)" [ source: Mike O'Brien, president / founder]
  • Tournaments are locked per data centre (so cross-atlantic play isn't happening), and is 8 team elimination [source Jon Peters, systems designer]
  • Condition property splitting is in the works (ie, conditions do different things in PvE vs PvP), which hints towards skill property splitting being a thing in the future as well [source Jon Peters, systems designer]
  • Guardian scepter rebalance for this BWE (better ranged options on this wep)
  • Rebalance of downed skills is happening (I forgot this was an issue, but it is)
  • Various AI tweaks (Minions, Illusions and of course Pets)
  • Character build templates on the table for post release
  • The WvW Dungeon is NOT instanced (lets see how this works, huh?)
  • WvW server balancing will be achieved through a series of shorter duration rounds close to launch, similar to what we're seeing in the betas
  • The Guild Cap is 100, but expandable via something which is NOT influence - no elaboration here (they originally said influence, but it was amended later on)
  • Item previewer is in the works (you can see how items look on your character before purchase)
  • First person view on the table for after release
#19 Posted by Grome (16 posts) -

Hmmm that WvW dungeon could get very interesting. People saying "hey guild lets go to the WvW dungeon and have some fun!" I love being a pvp junkey haha

#20 Posted by makari (594 posts) -

@selfconfessedcynic said:

Oh, in case anyone is interested, I read through the whole thing when compiling show notes for the live show. Here are the topics in the order I think we'll be discussing them during the broadcast (and the list makes up everything on there that I found interesting).

  • The WvW Dungeon is NOT instanced (lets see how this works, huh?)

Think the Font of Rhand, only other players can come in and gank you.

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