The official website has just updated with some news on the direction the game will be taking in 2013, some of which seems rather interesting. The full article can be seen here.
One of our focuses is expanding and leveraging our achievement system. The concept behind this is to allow players to earn new rewards for achievements, as well as progressing down achievement paths that take advantage of the open world experience. We’ll add tokens for your achievement you can turn in to select from a list of rewards, including new reward types like ascended gear and infusions. We’ll add support so daily achievements will be different each day of the week, which will help drive players to different areas of the world and play together. Later, we’ll also be adding a system that lets you complete a subgroup of achievements to fulfill your daily. For example, if there are 6 daily achievements available, you’ll only need to do 4 of the 6. So you can choose the achievements that you’re most interested in.
We’ll continue to offer cosmetic rewards such as titles, medals (map complete), unique skins, etc. which will remain prizes earned for completing specific parts of the game. These will show off the prestige of your character, but will not make your character more powerful than other characters. Our reward systems need to be exciting, and include things you want to earn over time, but we don’t want to force our players on endless gear treadmills for new tiers of gear we add every 6 months. You won’t see another tier between ascended and legendary in 2013 for example
Guilds are an extremely important to the game. We need to ensure there is a volume of content to foster this strong community/social bond. To that end, we’re working on adding new types of content to the game in early 2013 that will allow guilds to go on missions together. Some of these missions may be content designed specifically for the guild to accomplish within certain constraints or time requirements while others see the creation of new content by a guild/s everyone in the world can experience. Over time we’ll continue to expand this system with new guild rewards, missions, and tools to allow guilds, of all sizes, to play a stronger part in solidifying the communities of the GW2 world.
Many of the features, expanded reward systems, and potentially even live event storylines described above will also play a part in World vs. World in 2013. We also have other specific features that we’re focusing on developing for our WvW community that we want to make sure you’re aware of.
Polishing the existing WvW experience to ensure it shines in every way possible is a major goal for us which requires addressing major areas we know need a lot of attention. We’ve been working on two of these projects for a while now, and both have proven far more complicated to solve than we’d hoped, but we’re getting really close and have made tremendous progress.
Firstly, we’ll be adding paid server transfers, with time limitations and WvW restrictions, and guestingability, which allows players to visit friends on other servers in every part of the game except for WvW. To encourage players to stick with a single server for WvW and fight for the pride of that server, server changes will incur a fee and have time limitations. Second, we’ll make improvements to culling. We recently ran small tests on Live to help us move towards eliminating as much culling from WvW as possible. The results have been promising, and we have a number of additional culling features in development. If all goes well, our hope is 2013 is the year culling ceases to exist, or is as minimal as possible in the WvW experience.
Much like the other aspects of the game, our PvP part of the game also will be growing by leaps and bounds over the course of 2013.
For those more interested in progression in PvP, we’ll be evaluating our PvP reward systems and overhauling the way PvP operates to make it feel more rewarding and exciting and to give reasons to login and compete every day. We’ll be adding systems that make it easier for players who are less competitive to get matched only against people with similar skill sets, and stronger methods for players learning PvP to do so in a safe and fun environment with more information to help their skills grow.
I'm personally pretty excited about the new reward/achievement system and the fact they're actually going back and making the existing areas more worthwhile, not just adding new ones. Character medals, like the star you get for 100% map completion is also a much better form of character progression than the ascended gear was. I think they still need to work on the dynamic event system and make the game much more dynamic, but all in all, this seems like a good direction to take the game in.