Guild-Wars2.info Interview with Guild Wars 2 Lead Designer Isaiah “Izzy” Cartwright
Guild-Wars2.info: In the original Guild Wars player were able to save their builds to template. Why aren’t there templates in Guild Wars 2 and might they come back some day?
Izzy: Templates hold a special place in our heart here at ArenaNet, as they help create a fun and interactive system for all players and the community to play with, but I can't reveal any details about templates, as we are not far enough along with the system at this time.
Guild-Wars2.info: Most of the players expected that home instances would be something like the Hall of Monuments or player housing. Currently, there is no reason to visit your home instance beyond your personal story line. Are there any plans to create special merchants, quests, mini-games, events, daily activities, etc. in the home instance?
Izzy: Yes, we do have some plans to improve these but we're not actively working on this right now.
Guild-Wars2.info: Do you have any updates about the Guild Wars 2 Extended Experience? Will we be able to use the trading post with our browser using the Extended Experience? Do you have any other ideas in mind for it?
Izzy: I don't have any new details to talk about this feature right now. As always, when the feature is closer to being ready we'll update everyone with more details.
Guild-Wars2.info: You can find in Lions Arch a small arena, resembling the ArenaNet logo, in which two minipets are confronting each other. Is there a possibility that one day we will be able to fight with our own minipets there?
Izzy: Anything is possible, but maybe those mini pets are just enjoying each other’s company!
Guild-Wars2.info: Right now guilds do not have a place where the members can gather together. Do you have any plans to create guild halls? If there are guild halls, is there any information you can share in terms of what players might be able to expect from them?
Izzy: We do plan to add Guild Halls at some in the future, yes.
Guild-Wars2.info: Why did you decide to implement guild back packs instead of capes like we saw in the original Guild Wars?
Izzy: After 250 years, guild fashion has had to adapt and change, especially as more diverse races started working together. The charr, for example, are not a big fan of the capes as they get in the way when running on all fours. The asura have calculated that capes increase the chance of fumbling in combat by 34.76819011% and thus avoid them at all costs.
Guild-Wars2.info: Players have to spend more gold and karma on certain crafting disciplines than on others. Are there any plans to balance the costs of the crafting disciplines so they all cost about the same?
Izzy: The free market of the crafting materials creates a large shift in prices which can create a disparity between the disciplines. We probably won’t try and adjust this now, as when prices move they would be off again.
Guild-Wars2.info: Crafting items take up the bulk of bank space for some players. This is another difference between the crafting disciplines. While jewelers can store more of their items in material storage, cooks have to store semi-finished dishes in their bank vault. Would you consider adding bank slots for semi-finished goods?
Izzy: We've considered it, but because we tend to add a lot of new stuff to cooking it makes it harder to build storage for it. All the other crafting professions have unfinished parts, too and the size of those collections can quickly get out of hand.
Guild-Wars2.info: Crafted items need a lot of space for some players. Food, potions and buff items fill up the inventory and the bank vault. Some players do not purchase these items in the Trading Post. Is there a possibility for a solution to that problem for these players in the future?
Izzy: I don't think we have any future plans on overhauling how this works at this time. However, we are always looking at the balance of food and potion consumables to make sure they are worth the time invested. I know I'm always willing to keep some om-nom food around for the extra magic find or truffle raviolis for WvW.
Guild-Wars2.info: The reward for map exploration is often totally random. Because of that, a Scholar profession can receive medium or heavy armor. Friends or guild members are happy to receive those items as a gift, but players always feel like, “Nothing for me, again.” Are there any thoughts on improving the reward system so players receive items that they can use?
Izzy: Yes, we do have plans to address this, as it's never fun to get those unusable items.
PvP and WvW
Guild-Wars2.info: Long waiting queues in WvW are a hot topic. In most of the Worlds, the queues are too long, especially in the evenings or during the whole day at weekends. Because of this, casual gamers aren’t able to try WvW. Are there any plans to mitigate long wait times in WvW, such as increasing the limit of players in maps?
Izzy: We are always looking for ways to improve WvW, and we have a team fully dedicated to it. Increasing map limits doesn't solve this problem, however, as any increase comes with other downsides. Currently, we are very focused on the culling problems and other WvW improvements, and we monitor queue wait times very closely. Not all servers have large queue times, so sometimes the best option is transfer to the lower queue-time servers.
Guild-Wars2.info: Would you consider implementing an interface in WvW which will show you an estimated waiting time or your position in the queue, so player can decide for themselves if it makes sense to wait for WvW or not?
Izzy: It is on our large to-do list, yes. Our WvW team has a lot of fun new stuff they are working on right now, but we will be looking at how to improve the way players interact with our queue system in the future.
Guild-Wars2.info: Certain PvP game types in the original Guild Wars, like Heroes’ Ascent and GvG, were favorites amongst PvP players. Can you discuss why these game types did not make it into Guild Wars 2?
Izzy: Mainly one of the big issues we wanted to avoid with Guild Wars 2 was creating too many games types, which leads to a fragmented player base and adds a lot of complexity when balancing. This tends to lead to many game-types being left out as it's impossible to develop new content and features for all of them in a timely manner.
Guild-Wars2.info: The number of active players per World can fluctuate in a WvW battle, for example, depending on the time of day. At times positions are captured and a map is overrun, only because the players usually defending those positions are asleep. Can you discuss this “night-capping” issue, whether you feel it’s a problem, and if so, any ways you might address it in the future?
Izzy: We have discussed this a lot, but there are some added complexities. Guild Wars 2 is a very global game. Many players’ natural play time is the opposite of the play time on Western servers - this is especially true for Oceanic players. We don't want to create systems that make it harder for some players to play and not others, but this is definitely still a big discussion. We will keep working on ways to improve this experience.
Guild-Wars2.info: Thank you for all the time you have taken the time to answer our questions!
Izzy: No no no, thank you and thanks for playing!