With the culmination of the current Living World story arch soon coming to an end, it’s a good opportunity for ArenaNet to clear the cobwebs and start on a new path. With the exception of Guild versus Guild (which won’t happen and is a topic I’ve flogged to death) I’ve been trying to think of what ArenaNet could pursue, outside of the Living World concept, that would add longevity to the game.
I must admit, it’s a bit of a struggle to think of something entirely new and yet dynamic events are staring us all in the face. While dynamic events aren’t the only building block ArenaNet has at their disposal, they remain potentially the most powerful and appealing. I remember
fondly the first time I played Guild Wars 2 and encountered my first dynamic event and while its scale and lack of impact on the environment around me was limited, the potential was still ripe.
Dynamic events might have fallen far short of the original marketing blitz by ArenaNet and although some had lengthy chains, their permanence on the world was short lived. What I’d like to see from ArenaNet throughout this year is to refine this concept and expand them upon the game world. Not only would I like to see chains become much lengthier but have dynamic events spawn randomly throughout the game world.
Admittedly much of this would step into the territory offered by EverQuest Next and the intention to allow all enemies, irrespective of level, the freedom to roam and interact with the environment based on their personal motivations (gold, looting, territory or murder) but it would add legs to the open world PvE of the game. When loot of any value is so heavily bound to the time limited dragons or events, it might make a welcome change to beef up these casual encounters and set rewards accordingly as long as they’re difficult to overcome.
The alternative to dynamic events, outside of the Living World confines, is to approach new content as developers always have by improving on what we already use. I’ve no doubt that the Living World drains significant resources for ArenaNet but if there is any remaining, the other areas I’d like to see improved are:
1. Revisiting all professions, with gusto, to once and for all iron out skills that are still terrible or bugged. Alongside this, to sweep over traits that still need improvement. Quality of life improvements make a huge difference to everyone and seeing poor skills removed and new ones added would give a fresh lease of life to professions.
2. Implementing new sPvP game modes and significantly increasing their landmass. Something similar to pure capture the flag, as opposed to the hybrid that we have with Spirit Watch would be welcome. Better still, scale to rival Arathi Basin would also be most welcome as it opens up a new set of tactics and play styles.
3. Implement Hylek and Tengu as playable races. Not only do they look absolutely awesome, but they would reinvigorate lower level zones as players make new classes.
4. Expand the game world to incorporate new zones that are permanent as opposed to temporary, but also add specific objectives or a variety of enemy levels to mix the population of high and low level players.
5. Apply the Living World concept to most of the existing dungeons, changing them permanently. Twilight Assault was a wonderful addition and a course that should have been continued. It’s fair to say the majority of the player base have played through what we already have, so it would be fantastic to see permanent changes to them.
6. Expand the range of mini games in capital cities to add incentives to return their. Better yet, make the rewards unique and stylised to those mini games.
7. Implement precursor questing within the personal story on the premise that you’ve finished the personal story first. This should then unlock an additional quest, similar to the original Paladin/Warlock mount chain in World of Warcraft that costs both money and time.
8. Bring back Bazaar of the Four Winds (sooner rather than later!)
There are of course many other things that ArenaNet could undertake, one of which is ensuring that the Living World concept (should they stick to it) delivers greater punch and more consistency across its story delivery. I still hang on in hope that ArenaNet will see sense and implement some form of Guild versus Guild.
Most importantly, what do you hope this year brings to Guild Wars 2 now that the current Living World story is coming to an end?