I Talk to ArenaNet About Mobile Apps, sPvP and Prof. Yakkington!

#1 Edited by EnchantedEcho (740 posts) -

Here is the original link if you want to give a +1 to my page views for this post (and read it of course), otherwise I've included the whole thing below.

Q: I really like design of the Asura, from their character animations to their architecture. What were the primary inspirations when you were creating the race for the Eye of the North expansion and in what ways did you expand on that race’s attributes for Guild Wars 2?

A: The Asura were originally conceived as a highly magical race, and the nature of that magical ability quickly took a turn towards the idea of a race of mad wizards with teleportation gates, golems, and floating citadels. They have been small races of tinkerers before, but the big thing with the asura was that their creations actually worked.

In Eye of the North, the Asura had arrived on the surface, chased there by the champion of an Elder Dragon. In the 250 years since, they have settled in. The biggest example of that is Rata Sum, their main city, where they have levitated a huge cube of stone into the air and have carved it out into their own magical citadel.

Q: MMOs are constantly evolving and changing in many ways, will there ever be events that occur that affect everyone in Guild Wars 2? e.g: An Elder Dragon is killed and stays dead permanently or a notable city is destroyed.

A: All events affect everyone in the game; those who are in the map with the event have the option of joining in, or not, but the event plays out around them within the shared world. For the most part, those events are cyclical, returning when a certain set of conditions has been met, to allow Player Characters to play through the events of the chain once more.

Story dungeons, on the other hand, are designed to be played through only once (although a player may choose to do so multiple times). When a player has completed the story version of the dungeon, those events are considered to have played out for that Player Character.

In the world, some events (typically holiday ones) will come and go, playing out temporarily and possibly leaving permanent changes to the world. We’ll have to leave that up to the Live team!

Q: I really enjoyed exploring the continents of Cantha and Elona in the original Guild Wars. It’s been 250 years since the original game, have any elements of those cultures bled over into Tyria in Guild Wars 2?

A: Elements of those cultures have absolutely made their way into Guild Wars 2. The city of Divinity’s Reach has notable sections that are shaped by Elonan and Canthan culture; some naming practices, legends, and the histories of great heroes all still exist within GW2. If you choose to play a human, you can pick racial features and skin tones suitable for a character with those backgrounds, and in some of the story chains, you have the option to identify yourself as a descendant of one of those great nations.

Q: My friend and I developed a love for Professor Yakkington while trying to fill out our Hall of Monuments in the original Guild Wars. So I really want to know if Professor Yakkington is immortal and will he be present in Guild Wars 2?

A: Sadly, no. Professor Yakkington has gone to the wide fields and joyful plains of the Mists. But he hasn’t been forgotten! If you visit the Ascalonian fortress of Ebonhawke, you will find a memorial to him — and to Nicholas, who loved him so well. Much like you, we never forget our loyal and beloved friends.

Q: I was pretty excited about the announcement of the Mobile and Web Apps, from the blog post it seemed like a much more complex project than your traditional MMO Companion App. Will the Apps be ready for launch day?

A: For launch we won’t have any GW2 apps available for use for players. However, soon after launch we’ll be launching a robust app development program in conjunction with our community that should allow for the development of some truly spectacular GW2 app and website development. We’ll discuss this more post ship, right now we’re focused on making the release of the game the greatest it can be.

Q: Have you considered adding more weapons for classes down the road or changing the weapon skills they have?

A: We have definitely talked about new weapons for the professions. However, it isn’t something we take lightly because once a weapon is introduced it needs to compete with what is already out there for that profession, including not just how effective it is, but what roles it fulfills. Weapons are the heart of your character’s tool set or “build,” they really set the tone for how your character will play so it is important that we get them right. I don’t think we would consider changing skills on a specific weapon unless they were not working in any parts of the game.

Q: Some players have complained about being underleveled in the early zones of the game, have you balanced the game in any way or added any tooltips that will guide players in the right direction?

This is definitely something that we’ve looked at very carefully, and we’ll continue to monitor long term. We’ve made a couple major changes to address some of these concerns.

First, we overhauled the hint system, adding a panel that shows you the full text of all the hints in the game. You can track your progress in each category, and you can access this panel at any time to review hints that you might have missed in the heat of battle. There are even achievement points for getting every hint.

Second, we made some significant changes to the way that our low level areas play to make sure that the challenges you face are level-appropriate. Part of this update was on the code and mechanics end, by changing the way that our content scales. We also went into each start zone and looked at where players were congregating and how we could make changes to direct players a little more. After analyzing the maps and feedback, we added a bunch of new content to each starter zone to help address issues with flow and scaling.

Those are just two of the ways that we’ve balanced the early game and guide players, but there’s always room to improve. We’ll continue to iterate and explore new ways to provide an awesome experience for our players.

Q: Unexpectedly I have found that Structured PvP is my favourite part of Guild Wars 2, and will probably dedicate a large amount of my playing time to it. What were your main goals that you had when you were working on Structured PvP and what are some of the most useful pieces of feedback you have received?

A: We had a lot of different goals with our structured PvP, but the most important ones were to make it accessible and fun, skill-based to keep players playing, and to support it well (a goal which we look forward to achieving). We worked hard to build a combat system that had the depth that players expected from an MMO, but had more of the action and strategy that we think has been lacking. I think the most important feedback we receive in general is about usability. Structured PvP is no exception. At each beta event, players wanted to be able to play more with their friends. This is an extremely important aspect of any online game, so we worked hard to make changes to the system to account for this feedback. From BWE1 to BWE2 we added tournaments so players could take organized five-person teams and compete with other teams. We also added the ability to follow your friends from your contacts list into games, as well as inviting party members to follow you into a game through chat links.

From BWE2 to BWE3 we allowed users to queue into tournaments with partial rosters so that 5 players was not a requirement for joining with your friends. Speaking of supporting the game, there are more social features we have talked about for PvP that we will continue to work on. From allowing players to “rent” servers, to spectating games, and other community features we will continue to work towards making Guild Wars 2 structured PvP a fully fledged gaming experience.

Q: Are you working on more Structured PvP modes or do you feel that the current mode is all that is needed? Do you envision that game modes as complex as what we saw in Heroes Ascent to make a return?

A: Throughout the development process, we worked on almost 10 different game modes including Capture the Flag, Deathmatch, and a two-track Golem map where teams tried to push their own Golem to the finish line. Each of these modes had some merits, but ultimately Conquest was far and away the most fun mode in our internal tests. At some point we realized that the best thing to do was to fully support this mode, from polishing the map creation pipeline, to the score UI, we put all of our effort into this game mode. This was really the internal turning point for structured PvP that started us down the path to the enjoyable game that we have now, so we will continue to focus on making this mode as fun as it can be. That being said, we would like to introduce new game types at some point, however we feel that simple objective based modes that encourage positioning, a healthy amount of group fights, as well as force interesting tactical team splits are the key to making successful games types for our game.

Q: As there are far less skills in Guild Wars 2 compared to Guild Wars 1, I feel like the impact of changing the effects or properties of one GW2 skill is much larger than changing a GW1 skill. Do you feel it is easier or harder to balance the game this time around?

A: I think the number of skills is a bit of an oversimplification. There are actually almost 1000 player skills in Guild Wars 2, but we have built a very layered infrastructure that makes balance a lot easier. In fact, changing a single GW2 skill has much less impact because of all of these layers. We have worked within this system for a while to build a strong baseline of balance. How this works is that while there are many skills, a specific skill isn’t competing with all of them. For instance any given heal skill must find a place of balance within the subset of <30 heal skills. A given weapon skill must be useful on that weapon, but the balance of the game rarely depends on that skill because it exists within the rest of the skills on that weapon. All of these things give us a good understanding of the context in which a skill will be used.

#2 Posted by selfconfessedcynic (2564 posts) -

Woah - long read, will hit it in a tad.

Wait, where is the original link again?

#3 Posted by EnchantedEcho (740 posts) -
#4 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3387 posts) -

Great read, duder. There were actually some cool tidbits about content and development in there that I haven't seen before. Also, thanks for the link. You definitely deserve the hit.

#5 Edited by EnchantedEcho (740 posts) -

@Dark_Lord_Spam: Thanks, next time I interview these guys (probably a few months after launch) I'll do a post in these forums beforehand to let you guys ask a few questions of your own.

#6 Posted by Bollard (5659 posts) -

@EnchantedEcho: Goddamn that's a great Q and A. Just reading it has me so hyped for release. Thanks a bunch.

I for one would love to see them keep adding weapons. I know they don't want weapons to overlap in their utilities for each class, but I think it's essential in the system they've employed where weapons only have at most 5 different skills, that new weapons come out to mix that up and stop it feeling stale.

#7 Posted by Benny (1953 posts) -
@Chavtheworld I agree with you about weapons, for some reason a few weeks ago I was thinking a lot about how awesome a scythe would be in GW2, definitely a weapon I'd like to see in future, on current professions or a new one.

Shame the mobile app development has fallen to the wayside, but them opening it up to the community will hopefully mean something really awesome can be made that doesn't take up arenanets time that would be better spent creating content.
#8 Posted by Turkalurch (198 posts) -

Great read!

Only one thing I didn't like:

It reminded me we still have a bit over 18 days of waiting. :(

#9 Posted by Bollard (5659 posts) -

@Benny: Necro needs a scythe now damnit! :D

#10 Edited by shinboy630 (1161 posts) -

@Benny: Gonna be a bit of a Debbie Downer here, but I really don't see them adding a scythe to GW2. The main reason scythes were so useful in GW1 aside from high DPS were because they had an inherit AoE effect on their attacks. Now that most (all?) melee weapons have that to some extent in GW2, what purpose would the scythe really serve?

Online
#11 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3387 posts) -

@shinboy630: By the same token, though, you could say that axes are redundant with swords because they both slash things. I'm sure the devs have enough creativity to give almost any new weapon a unique skill set. For a while yet, at least.

#12 Posted by Subjugation (4724 posts) -

So they're going to let people rent pvp servers, or at least they're considering the idea. I'll be interested to see how that plays out.

#13 Posted by Maystack (906 posts) -

Very good read, you asked some interesting questions.

#14 Edited by Dark_Lord_Spam (3387 posts) -

@Subjugation said:

So they're going to let people rent pvp servers, or at least they're considering the idea. I'll be interested to see how that plays out.

I imagine that's where the variable player caps that were initially shown come in. Wonder if it'll be possible to set up a 1v1 server for duels.

#15 Posted by shinboy630 (1161 posts) -

Just saw Anet posted this on the GW2 Facebook page. Nice going!

Online
#16 Edited by UssjTrunks (534 posts) -

Speaking of supporting the game, there are more social features we have talked about for PvP that we will continue to work on. From allowing players to “rent” servers, to spectating games, and other community features we will continue to work towards making Guild Wars 2 structured PvP a fully fledged gaming experience.

This needs to happen asap.

Great interview btw.

@shinboy630 said:

@Benny: Gonna be a bit of a Debbie Downer here, but I really don't see them adding a scythe to GW2. The main reason scythes were so useful in GW1 aside from high DPS were because they had an inherit AoE effect on their attacks. Now that most (all?) melee weapons have that to some extent in GW2, what purpose would the scythe really serve?

Why do we have axes and swords in this game, or rifles and bows? Many weapons currently overlap in role. Besides, weapon roles aren't universal. A scythe can have one role in the hands of one profession, and another role when wielded by another profession. The warrior's 1H sword is a condition weapon while the guardian's is designed around direct damage.

#17 Posted by Subjugation (4724 posts) -

@Dark_Lord_Spam said:

@Subjugation said:

So they're going to let people rent pvp servers, or at least they're considering the idea. I'll be interested to see how that plays out.

I imagine that's where the variable player caps that were initially shown come in. Wonder if it'll be possible to set up a 1v1 server for duels.

I really hope you don't have to hop on to a pvp server to engage in a duel. I was a fan of being able to have impromptu duels anywhere outside of major cities in WoW. What I mean by duel is a straight up 1v1 "I'm trying solely to kill you" type of thing, not a 1v1 capture point pvp match.

#18 Posted by shinboy630 (1161 posts) -

@UssjTrunks said:

Speaking of supporting the game, there are more social features we have talked about for PvP that we will continue to work on. From allowing players to “rent” servers, to spectating games, and other community features we will continue to work towards making Guild Wars 2 structured PvP a fully fledged gaming experience.

This needs to happen asap.

Great interview btw.

@shinboy630 said:

@Benny: Gonna be a bit of a Debbie Downer here, but I really don't see them adding a scythe to GW2. The main reason scythes were so useful in GW1 aside from high DPS were because they had an inherit AoE effect on their attacks. Now that most (all?) melee weapons have that to some extent in GW2, what purpose would the scythe really serve?

Why do we have axes and swords in this game, or rifles and bows? Many weapons currently overlap in role. Besides, weapon roles aren't universal. A scythe can have one role in the hands of one profession, and another role when wielded by another profession. The warrior's 1H sword is a condition weapon while the guardian's is designed around direct damage.

My point is that pretty much all (meaning condition based or pure DPS based weapons) of that is covered. I just find hard to see where a new weapon like the scythe would fit into the current system without a large amount of overlap. If they want to add new weapons, IMO they would have to add new professions.

Online
#19 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3387 posts) -

@Subjugation said:

@Dark_Lord_Spam said:

@Subjugation said:

So they're going to let people rent pvp servers, or at least they're considering the idea. I'll be interested to see how that plays out.

I imagine that's where the variable player caps that were initially shown come in. Wonder if it'll be possible to set up a 1v1 server for duels.

I really hope you don't have to hop on to a pvp server to engage in a duel. I was a fan of being able to have impromptu duels anywhere outside of major cities in WoW. What I mean by duel is a straight up 1v1 "I'm trying solely to kill you" type of thing, not a 1v1 capture point pvp match.

I hope so too, I'm just talking about a bare-bones sort of solution until they can implement a more fully-featured dueling system like how they've said they'd want to do it. Similar to GW1, where the only real way to duel was to start a GvG scrimmage with only 2 players.

#20 Edited by UssjTrunks (534 posts) -

@Subjugation said:

@Dark_Lord_Spam said:

@Subjugation said:

So they're going to let people rent pvp servers, or at least they're considering the idea. I'll be interested to see how that plays out.

I imagine that's where the variable player caps that were initially shown come in. Wonder if it'll be possible to set up a 1v1 server for duels.

I really hope you don't have to hop on to a pvp server to engage in a duel. I was a fan of being able to have impromptu duels anywhere outside of major cities in WoW. What I mean by duel is a straight up 1v1 "I'm trying solely to kill you" type of thing, not a 1v1 capture point pvp match.

I wouldn't want PvE duels because they would be gear-based (unless you switch to your PvP gear/stats when you enter the duel). I think the easiest way to do this would be to designate an area in the mists for dueling.

Here is what Jon Peters said in-game to someone:

#21 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2564 posts) -

@shinboy630 said:

@UssjTrunks said:

@shinboy630 said:

@Benny: Gonna be a bit of a Debbie Downer here, but I really don't see them adding a scythe to GW2. The main reason scythes were so useful in GW1 aside from high DPS were because they had an inherit AoE effect on their attacks. Now that most (all?) melee weapons have that to some extent in GW2, what purpose would the scythe really serve?

Why do we have axes and swords in this game, or rifles and bows? Many weapons currently overlap in role. Besides, weapon roles aren't universal. A scythe can have one role in the hands of one profession, and another role when wielded by another profession. The warrior's 1H sword is a condition weapon while the guardian's is designed around direct damage.

My point is that pretty much all (meaning condition based or pure DPS based weapons) of that is covered. I just find hard to see where a new weapon like the scythe would fit into the current system without a large amount of overlap. If they want to add new weapons, IMO they would have to add new professions.

Nope, there's at least one spot left open for warrior weapons that I can think of: two handed Multi-target / large aoe, medium damage, low control.

Atm we have Hammer: Minimal multi-target, medium/high damage, a lot of control

Greatsword: Single target deeps + movement, no control

I think the Scythe could fit in there, though I personally would prefer a Great Axe

#22 Posted by shinboy630 (1161 posts) -
@selfconfessedcynic

@shinboy630 said:

@UssjTrunks said:

@shinboy630 said:

@Benny: Gonna be a bit of a Debbie Downer here, but I really don't see them adding a scythe to GW2. The main reason scythes were so useful in GW1 aside from high DPS were because they had an inherit AoE effect on their attacks. Now that most (all?) melee weapons have that to some extent in GW2, what purpose would the scythe really serve?

Why do we have axes and swords in this game, or rifles and bows? Many weapons currently overlap in role. Besides, weapon roles aren't universal. A scythe can have one role in the hands of one profession, and another role when wielded by another profession. The warrior's 1H sword is a condition weapon while the guardian's is designed around direct damage.

My point is that pretty much all (meaning condition based or pure DPS based weapons) of that is covered. I just find hard to see where a new weapon like the scythe would fit into the current system without a large amount of overlap. If they want to add new weapons, IMO they would have to add new professions.

Nope, there's at least one spot left open for warrior weapons that I can think of: two handed Multi-target / large aoe, medium damage, low control.

Atm we have Hammer: Minimal multi-target, medium/high damage, a lot of control

Greatsword: Single target deeps + movement, no control

I think the Scythe could fit in there, though I personally would prefer a Great Axe

1. That is pretty oddly specific and can probably be met with the right build. 2. The warrior already uses more weapons that any other profession, so why would they make yet another weapon for it? Like I said, a new profession would fit it best.
Online
#23 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2564 posts) -

@shinboy630 said:

1. That is pretty oddly specific and can probably be met with the right build. 2. The warrior already uses more weapons that any other profession, so why would they make yet another weapon for it? Like I said, a new profession would fit it best.

It actually can't be met with the right build at the moment. The warrior is perhaps the most lacking class at dealing aoe damage in this game, which does seriously limit their long-term PvE viability, especially in dynamic events. The only thing we've got really is the Longbow, and that is a rather half arsed bastard of a weapon at the moment if you ask me.

If I widen the bracket, what we need is an "Melee AOE Damage Weapon", which is a very broad category and something that is well addressed with a new weapon. As for saving that weapon for a new class? no class uses their weapons exclusively anyway. Also, if you're taking about a profession which achieves good mass-target damage we already have them, they are called the Necromancer and the Elementalist.

Beyond all of that, they have said they are saving weapons for future DLC / Expansions already, and I personally believe this is a good thing. Having 19 combinations of weapons is a lot right now for the Warrior, but after a year or so I'll have even more familiarity with what other classes can simply do better and I'll be wanting something new to fill the gaps.

I am not asking to be the best at everything, no class is the best at everything even though they can all do everything, but I want to at least have an answer to each situation. The longbow just isn't it for AOE at the moment.

#24 Posted by shinboy630 (1161 posts) -

@selfconfessedcynic said:

@shinboy630 said:

1. That is pretty oddly specific and can probably be met with the right build. 2. The warrior already uses more weapons that any other profession, so why would they make yet another weapon for it? Like I said, a new profession would fit it best.

It actually can't be met with the right build at the moment. The warrior is perhaps the most lacking class at dealing aoe damage in this game, which does seriously limit their long-term PvE viability, especially in dynamic events. The only thing we've got really is the Longbow, and that is a rather half arsed bastard of a weapon at the moment if you ask me.

If I widen the bracket, what we need is an "Melee AOE Damage Weapon", which is a very broad category and something that is well addressed with a new weapon. As for saving that weapon for a new class? no class uses their weapons exclusively anyway. Also, if you're taking about a profession which achieves good mass-target damage we already have them, they are called the Necromancer and the Elementalist.

Beyond all of that, they have said they are saving weapons for future DLC / Expansions already, and I personally believe this is a good thing. Having 19 combinations of weapons is a lot right now for the Warrior, but after a year or so I'll have even more familiarity with what other classes can simply do better and I'll be wanting something new to fill the gaps.

I am not asking to be the best at everything, no class is the best at everything even though they can all do everything, but I want to at least have an answer to each situation. The longbow just isn't it for AOE at the moment.

My point is that adding a Scythe just because the warrior lacks that type of AoE heavy melee weapon is kind of an odd strategy, seeing as the warrior already has more weapon combinations available than any other profession, and none of them are really not viable. I can see them adding weapons in a fashion where only 1-2 are usable by the warrior while 3-4 are usable by most other professions, to even things out a nit. I actually think that is the best way to do it. Sure the "warrior community" would whine about that, but hey, the Internet.

Online
#25 Posted by selfconfessedcynic (2564 posts) -

@shinboy630 said:

My point is that adding a Scythe just because the warrior lacks that type of AoE heavy melee weapon is kind of an odd strategy, seeing as the warrior already has more weapon combinations available than any other profession, and none of them are really not viable. I can see them adding weapons in a fashion where only 1-2 are usable by the warrior while 3-4 are usable by most other professions, to even things out a nit. I actually think that is the best way to do it. Sure the "warrior community" would whine about that, but hey, the Internet.

I agree with some of your sentiment here. I personally don't give a shit if our new weapon is a Scythe, a Great Axe or a fucking Billhook - as long as it fills the niche we need it to. As you say, though, people will whine if X class doesn't get the "coolest" of the new batch. Adding multiple weapons in an expansion and having them add to different subsets of the classes is a fine idea.

What I don't agree with is "balancing out" the weapons options across classes. That is rather counter to the idea behind the warrior in general - we're a more simple class in terms of what we have at any moment in-battle but in total we have just as many options as everyone else. The reason we have so many weapons is because of things like attunements, death shroud, pets, steal-results, virtues, etc. If you give the other classes just as many weapon sets as the warrior then you're screwing warriors over in the big picture.

That said, I wouldn't mind it if they gave the other classes 19 weapon options after a while - as long as we're sitting on 30-40. : P

#26 Posted by shinboy630 (1161 posts) -

@selfconfessedcynic said:

@shinboy630 said:

My point is that adding a Scythe just because the warrior lacks that type of AoE heavy melee weapon is kind of an odd strategy, seeing as the warrior already has more weapon combinations available than any other profession, and none of them are really not viable. I can see them adding weapons in a fashion where only 1-2 are usable by the warrior while 3-4 are usable by most other professions, to even things out a nit. I actually think that is the best way to do it. Sure the "warrior community" would whine about that, but hey, the Internet.

I agree with some of your sentiment here. I personally don't give a shit if our new weapon is a Scythe, a Great Axe or a fucking Billhook - as long as it fills the niche we need it to. As you say, though, people will whine if X class doesn't get the "coolest" of the new batch. Adding multiple weapons in an expansion and having them add to different subsets of the classes is a fine idea.

What I don't agree with is "balancing out" the weapons options across classes. That is rather counter to the idea behind the warrior in general - we're a more simple class in terms of what we have at any moment in-battle but in total we have just as many options as everyone else. The reason we have so many weapons is because of things like attunements, death shroud, pets, steal-results, virtues, etc. If you give the other classes just as many weapon sets as the warrior then you're screwing warriors over in the big picture.

That said, I wouldn't mind it if they gave the other classes 19 weapon options after a while - as long as we're sitting on 30-40. : P

I agree that balancing out the number of weapons is not the best option, especially since I'm playing a warrior myself. I was just saying that the internet is full of little kids, and little kids don't like it when their friends have more toys than they do.

Online
#27 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3387 posts) -

@shinboy630: WHY CAN'T ELEMENTALISTS SWAP WEAPONS. ARENANET IS JUST NERFING THEM INTO THE GROUND BECAUSE JON PETERS HAS A PERSONAL VENDETTA AGAINST ELE PLAYERS.

Alright, it's out of my system now.

#28 Edited by Dourin (233 posts) -

@Dark_Lord_Spam said:

@shinboy630: WHY CAN'T ELEMENTALISTS SWAP WEAPONS. ARENANET IS JUST NERFING THEM INTO THE GROUND BECAUSE JON PETERS HAS A PERSONAL VENDETTA AGAINST ELE PLAYERS.

Alright, it's out of my system now.

God, this sounded so much like a WoW player argument it scared me for a second.

"Alliance never gets cool shit because we all know Metzen favors the Horde!"

Edit: Also, fuck you, no. I don't want weapon swapping on my ele. I have enough fucking shit to deal with at the moment. I don't need it doubled!

#29 Posted by RobbieMac (535 posts) -

@Dourin: I do. I want as many weapon and attunement combinations available with a simple click of a button.

#30 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3387 posts) -

@Dourin: @RobbieMac: I won't be satisfied until elementalists have to manage F1-F12 and the entire num-pad on five separate macros.

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