Mike Ferguson is back in another ANet blog on WvW.Â Among the subjects this time are chat, squads, siege, and BWE1 World Standings. Check it out here!Read more & comment >>
GWOnline is very happy toÂ presentÂ this interview with ArenaNet about their insights from the beta process so far, and how they go about balancing the game now that we are getting ever closer to release.
We were particularly excited to learn that ArenaNet can roll out and test changes to 100 skills in mere minutes, allowing for quicker and more responsive balancing in Guild Wars 2. Oh, and that there are ghost cows, and we will get to fight them!Â Questions are answered by Mike Ferguson (Game Designer), Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda (Game Designer), Theo Nguyen (Game Designer), Leif Chappelle (Game Designer), Eric Flannum (Lead Game Designer) and Isaiah Cartwright (Lead Systems Designer).
GWOnline: After you finished the first round of closed beta, what was the general feedback, and what insights did you gain?
Mike: Overall the feedback was extremely positive. For WvW, the beta was extremely useful for us as we were able to learn a lot from playing with a large population over the weekend. After the beta ended we immediately went to work on implementing various updates to make siege weapons more effective, we’re optimizing various systems that were extremely taxing on our servers, and we’re looking at various ways to make WvW easier to learn for people who are first starting out.
Annie: One big thing I think the story team took away from the beta is how players react to the information we gave them – negative points where the seams between quests were showing, points where they wanted information that wasn’t there, but also positive ones from how people responded to our use of cinematics, scenes, and “flythroughs” (little staged cinematics more typical of your standard game cutscene). It felt like we were definitely on the right track with hitting the high notes of the story. Beyond that, responses to characters and the balance of boss fights was definitely useful feedback – it’s always fun to see the aggregate response of players to certain elements of the game, especially trickier subjects like tragedy or humor. I now have proof that fighting ghost cows is just as hilarious as I always thought it was!
Theo: As Mike said, response from the beta has been largely positive. As with any feedback cycle, weâ€™ve received a multitude of important insights that are too varied to discuss individually at this point. Needless to say, weâ€™re working on several concerns that were brought up. To give an example, the rate at which players level is something weâ€™re keeping a close eye on. Numbers balance can make or break a game. We feel itâ€™s essential to get this right.
Leif: The beta weekend was a really great milestone for our development, as it was an opportunity to test server load and look at just how everything comes together. One of the most important insights gained was how all the content flows and how well it matches up to our intentions. During a normal week of design, we on the story team are focused intently on getting the balance for our instanced areas just right, but that’s only one part of the overall experience. When you have the ability to jump from one story step to the next, you might lose sight of how you actually get there. Yet between the events, renown hearts, and skill challenges, I often found myself pleasantly surprised when looking down at my map and realizing I was right where I needed to be just by following people and engaging with the world.Read more & comment >>
In the middle of the beta signup craze, Mike Ferguson completed his previously promised AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit. He answered a lot of questions, but here are some of the more interesting bits:
On population cap:
About effect overload:
On overflow servers in WvW:
Mike Ferguson just posted an in-depth blog post addressing some of the most common questions about the Guild Wars 2 World versus World format. Subjects covered are siege blueprints, bonuses, server transfers, waypoints, map population caps and the day/night cycle.
But that is not all, if you still have questions unanswered Mike will also host an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on RedditÂ Friday, Feb 24 at 8AM PST!Read more & comment >>
Earlier today systems designer Mike Ferguson posted a blog post about World versus World PvPÂ over at the ArenaNet blog. One of the most looked forward to features of Guild Wars 2, it did not disappoint. Some things were known, some things were new.
- Mike Ferguson
Follow after the jump for a point-by-point run-down of all the WvW info goodness!Read more & comment >>
Guild Wars Insider recently had a sit-down with three of the more PvP-savvy ArenaNet developers – PvP Systems Designers Matt Witter, Mike Ferguson and Jonathan Sharp. In the interview, available in audio as well as transcribed text, the three fellows really let their love for the Guild Wars 2 PvP shine through and they sound like they are having a lot of fun with it. The gentlemen also share some new details about the Guild Wars 2 PvP systems, like how a PvP lobby will offer a PvP-specific tutorial available for those players who want to jump right in.
It will also be a place too where new players can come in and pick up the tutorialÂ on just PvP. Because weâ€™re assuming that you can come and just make a PvP characterÂ if you want to. Maybe youâ€™ve never done any of the tutorials for any of the other PvEÂ content, and if thatâ€™s the case, we wanted you to be able to jump in and understand whatâ€™s going on before you get thrown into a PvP match. Weâ€™re going to have some tutorial stuff that you can do there to figure out whatâ€™s happening in the game. -Â Mike Ferguson
Other subjects include the possibility of anÂ observerÂ mode (planning one, but wont be in at release), how it felt like to be beat by fans in PvP (they deny it ever happening) and inspirations for making Guild Wars 2 an e-sport (everything from soccer to boxing). Read the full interview here.Read more & comment >>