I will probably delete this soon so copy and paste if you care about it. Hello! I’m a relatively unimportant person but I have BIG ears. I’m not going to reply to any posts for fear that I might not carefully vet any replies to remove my identity. Here’s some details about the work in progress towards the next GW2 Xpac. There is some internal fear that some of these ideas may be unpopular—and a push for a more “modest” direction that changes the game less. Most of us love this new direction, so I’m sharing this to hopefully let the higher ups see that the fans are okay with radical improvements to Guild Wars 2. (Sorry!!) I’m not going to purposely spoil anything, just provide the gist. I probably editorialize and inject my own opinion and understanding a bit, in my effort to be thorough. So the way I understand it may not be exactly how it actually is.
1. Story: The energy of multiple dragons is seeping into the world. Things are changing. Where will all this power go? Glint’s child can’t handle it all, for now—it is up to the player characters to start absorbing the power into themselves.
2. Open World & Dungeons: Open World Type 1: “Battleground Maps” The open world in HoT is perfect… for certain players. Open world content is going to be split into two types. Zones like HoT—big events, big monsters, zergs. We’re calling these “Battleground” maps. Where the forces of Tyria are in a huge war with a force, and players can jump in as soldiers. An effort is being made, moving forward, so that it makes sense story-wise why this conflict is continuing.
Open World Type 2: “The Wilds” There will be other open world maps. These will be called “The Wilds”. These are intended for players who want to play solo or just with their friends. End-game open world, if you will. They will be huge zones, larger than anything in the game currently. Wilds Maps have one waypoint—at the very beginning of the zone in some sort of town. You can interact with other players in the town to form groups. The further away from the waypoint you get, the more difficult enemies you will encounter and the greater the rewards available. After you leave town, other players, unless you are in a party or squad with them, will appear as “phased” versions of themselves—this is explained by the story. They will not be able to assist you or interact with you, but you will still see them, to add a sense of competiveness. Think Dark Souls (which was a major inspiration, and there were some plans to consider allowing players to be a little bit twisted with one another). I personally hope they add SOME elements of interaction. The purpose of the wilds is to ensure you always have something to do, with no waiting or drama. Phase in solo and try to explore the maps, finding rewards, chests, high quality gathering, and enemies with great loot—until you eventually are defeated. The maps and rewards are randomized in certain ways, along with the enemies. It should be new every single day, but some parts stay the same. Savvy players will learn secret routes and passages that let them go further into the maps and experience greater rewards. If you phase in with a party of 5, or a Squad of 10, you will be able to go further and get more—but the expectation will be organized play much more like a Fractal or a Raid, rather than a Zerg. It is being carefully balanced so that it is a worthwhile mode of play for every size of group up to a squad. But it also allows for some badass gameplay—only your thief survives a nasty fight, and is slowly sneaking around getting everyone resed as you retreat. There are dungeons you can only access after fighting your way deep into the maps.
3. New Dungeons, with difficulty settings, accessible by keys.
Dungeons will be added. New ones, the old ones will be left as they are. New Dungeons will have many difficulty settings, selectable on opening, with greater rewards for higher difficulties. Gameplay will be closer to easier raids than to old dungeons or fractals, but this varies per dungeon. Some randomized elements to keep things fresh—no player chosen paths, but there are “paths”. Keys will drop at varying qualities—accessing the highest difficulty dungeon takes a better, rarer key. Accessing a dungeon requires a key that can be acquired as a drop in the open world (there will be a keyring, don’t worry). The idea is that you aren’t constantly just able to grind out the best dungeon—you save those keys until you can play with your friends and your guild. (This is pretty similar to the system used in Warframe). But if you want to play some dungeons, you will have a pretty easy supply of easier dungeons to run through for fun (what constitutes easier varies based on the player. Hardcore players will pretty much always have access to reasonably hard dungeons, but for these players, those may not be too hard.) So when trying to get loot, the progression is basically open world to get some keys while you wait for your friends to get online and you get your friends, hop into some dungeons at the highest difficulty you guys can handle, get better loot and gear, hop into raids if you care to, or just progress further into The Wilds than you have before. Oh they’re debating whether or not to do two different difficulties for raids.
4. Rewards and Progression
Let’s go back to the story a little bit. There are dragon’s that are dead or for some other reason, leaking energy out into the world. Not going to say how many. It is up to you to steal that power. The main goal of future rewards and progression was not to screw up any of the existing systems. Too much time has been spent revamping existing content rather than adding new content. So Ascended, ascended drops, etc, existing runes will mostly be unchanged. instead, underneath your trait lines, players will gain access to “Stolen Power”.
Stolen Power: -These will essentially act like “gear sets” in a game like Diablo 3, or Runes in other games. They will add NO new inventory management, as your unlocks will be automatically saved in the “Traits” UI in a new column and will default to the highest level of whichever Fragment you already selected. -There will be Six Slots. You can fill each with a “Fragment of Zhaitan”, or “Fragment of Primordus”, so on and so forth. The goal was something like to have at least 4 sets for each character at launch ,and one generic set that applies to any character based on each dragon at launch. Each set will be intended to push characters into fun and exciting new directions, themed around the power of the dragon who’s power is being stolen. -Each potential Fragment is available at ten different levels of power—they will behave exactly the same for set purposes, but with vastly different powering levels. For example, one of the bonuses for “Fragment of Primordus”, when used by a Guardian, converts all “Light” fields to Fire Fields” at level X. At level I, it would instead be “your light fields have a 10% chance to become fire fields”. You could theoretically get big bonuses to some parts and play the overall build while only having a low level Fragment in one slot-- this way, RNG cant screw you too badly. -This way, players can quickly acquire functioning versions of the sets that they want, but will still have to play a bunch if they want to be fully stacked in Fragment X. -There will be set bonuses for certain amounts. As of right now, only ODD numbers of fragments add a bonus, whereas the even number of fragments add a bonus to a stat. There is a generic class-less set for each dragon that applies bonuses to everyone, and the goal is that you might mix two 3 piece sets, or do 3, 1, 1, 1 or something like that. Particularly while you are waiting to acquire full sets or Fragment X versions. You CAN mix and match sets. Like 3 Zhaitan, 1 Primordus, 1 Mordremoth, 1 Glint (yes, not an elder dragon, there is a reason for this). But current balance is focused on making the 6 sets or the 3, 3 sets most worthwhile. The option is still left so that if you end up with a ton of high level fragments, you can mix and match your strongest while you wait for sets. -The intention is that players will want to spend a lot of time in new content to fully unlock all of the new playstyles and gear sets, and then, when they find the one they enjoy, they can focus on getting each one to Fragment X. I’m not sure exactly how, but I think there are ways to increase your chance of getting the rewards you want—its not just totally random. IIRC certain maps, dungeons, enemies are more likely to give a certain fragment... it was logical to the dragon most present in the zone. HoT content will be easiest to get mord fragments. -Early iterations had this function as a new type of Rune on gear—but it was too restrictive and added too much new inventory management. -My example was the Primordus Guardian (Yes, I know Primordus isn't dead. There is a reason this is possible...). Basically, a six piece set gives you all your fields turn from light to fire, conversion of power and condition damage into each other at a &, and your Fire Auras explode as a blast finisher when they expire. Visually, the Guardian’s abilities change colors and get a nice mix of blues and reddish/orange fire. -There will obviously be some small balance and trait reworks to go with the new skills, but the goal is to not spend too much time revamping. It is undecided if any of this will be usable in WvW/PvP. -This will tie in to existing systems. For example, there will be a new ascended weapon set for each dragon that is meant to be a “mini-legendary”, complete with a story journey rather than a pure crafting requirement. When you complete your first one of these weapons, it grants you ONE Level X Fragment of your choice for that Dragon. -So, moving forward, we can add progression by adding more Fragments, new fragments, or higher levels of Fragments that add new powers or enhanced versions of the same powers. For example, a raid that comes out might also increase the cap from Fragment X to Fragment XI, and the raid has a higher chance to drop XI… although new dungeons and higher difficulty content would have a chance to drop it as well. -One goal of this system is that a character at Fragment X is stronger than a character at lower levels of fragments AT ONE SPECIFIC ROLE, enough so to make up for balance differences between classes in the future, and that not everyone will be able to rush the highest level of power. This doesn't mean it will be massively stronger in general, or compared to classes now. Just that players can focus in on their preferred role or play-style more than before. Less Jack of All trades. That way, players can focus more on making their preferred class/spec really strong, and then be wanted in all groups. There is some debate as to whether your average Fragment level should show up on your character in some fashion or if it should be kept secret. Elitism is unavoidable, so it might be better to allow characters to be elitist based on how far your character has progressed rather than on random other criteria, like class balance. -If you guys haven’t picked up on it by now, the goal is to add a layer of progression on top of the existing ones that is a little bit more similar to something like Diablo 3 in nature. Expanding this to include special effects that can be added to weapons, moves, and abilities is a natural and discussed expansion of the idea. Players should get stronger for playing more, and get stronger faster for playing difficult content. -Oh, along with random chance, some rare spawns in dungeons, world, etc, will be versions of monsters who have absorbed the power of the dragon. These will have a guaranteed chance to drop a Fragment, but it will scale based on the difficulty of the content you're in. Coming across one should be a moment of excitement, get some friends in, and try to kill it. The early idea was to give a huge amount of abilities to weapons, and then allow players to craft abilities between weapons. This got nixed recently because it was proving that only some weapons were desired, and giving legendary weapons a cool effect seemed a bit unfair. The idea was that, say, some random Sword got a 30% chance to cast a lightning AoE, and Bolt got a 40% chance to cast the same AoE-- a small bonus for getting the right legendary for a build. Weapons probably won't make it in, but the Fragments should.
5. Player Housing This is kind of an odd one. Players will get access to what is essentially a tiny pocket universe. It's not really player housing so much as your own little stash. They can phase into it any time they are out of combat without a loading screen. From here, they can access their bank and a few other things. The goal is to make this a huge quality of life improvement to let players keep on playing with fewer breaks. This might get cut though because there are lots of small problems (what to do for people who bought permanent access items and such. Definitely no trading post in here-- not trying to kill towns and guilds.
6. Odds and Ends Some weapon animations getting cleaned up. Keyring added. Want to move towards more expansion (box) sales and less gem store. Looking for sustainable rewards systems to keep making the game more fun and giving us something to work towards—think Dragon Fragments may be part of that way. Oh, and there was an idea for the Gem Store that people are talking about. Instead of selling you an "Outfit" for 800 gems, the idea would be to charge 800 gems for the outfit, or 400 Gems for a new quest (like the legendary quests, but shorter/easier), that at the end would allow you to get the outfit. This way, items become more like DLC, in that they will add gameplay, rather than just being a pure pay2look cool system. Of course upper level wanted to change the idea to "pay 400" for a chance to get a random outfit from the quest... but that's how these things go.
Thanks for reading. I'm going to try not to respond to anything and just move on, having shared this. Edit: The biggest goal of new content moving forward was not to ruin or remove the stuff we've already spent ages working on. Masteries, elite specs, fractals... everything will continue to be expanded on. I just don't mention those things because they are not controversial at all.