Guild Wars 2 May Be The End Of The Franchise

| 5 Mar 2013 19:13
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Hopefully you really like the current state of Guild Wars 2 as developer ArenaNet has no plans to expand the game, and a sequel seems increasingly unlikely.

When the Guild Wars franchise made its debut with 2005's aptly titled Guild Wars, it was hailed as a World of Warcraft killer. Fast forward to the present day and Blizzard's MMO is still king of the heap, while the latest Guild Wars title seems to be stagnating at the very least.

In an as yet unpublished interview with IGN, Guild Wars 2 director Colin Johanson offered grim (if diplomatic) news for those hoping that the game might see an expansion pack in the near future. "Expansions are definitely something that we'll potentially look at in the future," Johanson states. "We don't have a timetable on it. We're open to it, but I think our major focus as a studio is making the living world concept as strong as possibly can for the players that we've got."

Translation: There are no expansions for Guild Wars 2 in development. While this could be a developer attempting to hold his cards close to the vest, his later statements as to the possibility of a sequel color this entire conversation in arguably depressing tones.

"We want to be able to have teams that are literally developing new, innovative features that change the way that you play our game and grow that experience so it literally feels like you don't leave Guild Wars 2; Guild Wars 2 becomes Guild Wars 2.5 or Guild Wars 3 and it continues to grow," Johanson claims.

The overall message of Johanson's words (outside of his annoyingly constant misuse of "literally") largely depends on how cynical you are with regards to the massively multiplayer online gaming genre, but there are undeniable facts here. First, as we stated above, no expansions are currently planned or in development for Guild Wars 2. This stands in stark contrast to the first Guild Wars which saw three expansions prior to the release of its sequel.

Secondly, as Johanson states, ArenaNet has no real plans to make a Guild Wars 3. Instead, it will continue to add content and features to Guild Wars 2. How long that might last is anyone's guess, but we have to assume it isn't the firm's indefinite plan. What happens when the game's engine is so dated that players turn up their nose in disgust at the title? That only takes three or four years in our modern era (especially given the semi-realistic art style of the Guild Wars franchise), and what then? ArenaNet could go the EVE Online route and release aesthetic upgrades for the game, but those are generally huge additions found within expansions for the game, which Johanson already stated were not being planned.

Does this mean Guild Wars 2 is dying? Not necessarily, but it doesn't bode well for the game's future either. Then again, maybe we're just wildly cynical. The free-to-play business model seen in Guild Wars 2 has enabled far too many objectively terrible games to hit the market and at some point it simply must become oversaturated. We've got a soft spot for the Guild Wars franchise and would hate to see it became a victim of the economic realities it helped usher in.

Source: IGN

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This is the worst example of misleading, headline grabbing I've seen on the Escapist in a long time. Every alarmist point made is drawn from supposition and unsupported correlation between tenuously related subjects. The tone is also thoroughly subjective, despite all the "we's".

Not a Guild Wars fan here, at all. In fact, I couldn't give rat's arse what happens to the franchise. I am a very disappointed reader of the Escapist though. Did this astoundingly bad article even pass over the editorial desk before it was posted?

You know what is absolutely astounding to me? The posts I read on the official forums are happy.

Let it sink in. An MMO's official community board is happy about the developer's statement.

rofltehcat:
Something remotely related: They once let slip that they had only 1 or 2 people work on class balance after release... so yeah, was pretty obvious.
Though that may have been an elaborately crafted fake for all I know... they actually seem to have started making actual class changes again.

I'd believe it, as Necro and Mesmer are poorly balanced for anything outside PVP, condition builds are worthless outside of PVP due to the retardedly low 25 condition cap, and Warrior is so OP as to be stupifying. I recently went back to playing with some friends and made a warrior, by lv50 I've face tanked every champion I've come across, and soloed most of them. A task neither my Necro or Thief are even remotely capable of.

As for expansions, they better put something out there against this statement. Knowing that there may not be any more content coming is the fastest way for me to no longer want to play, seeing as Living Story is kinda suck, even they admit that. FoTM was a good idea, but desperately needs more floor types added in before I'm willing to climb it more.

All I heard was "we're gonna give our core game so much support that we won't need dedicated expansions to beef up the content".
Gradual, constant, organic change over a long period of time much like an actual world. That sounds a lot like what MMOs should have been from day one rather than the staggered influx of content expansions are. I don't see this as something warranting all the doomsday folk with carboard signs. It's just a different approach. One which will arguably require more effort and yield more content overall, but I'm not gonna place a wager on that just yet.

Earnest Cavalli:
Then again, maybe we're just wildly cynical.

Yeah, that.

Seriously, I have no idea where this excessively negative interpretation comes from. It's weird.

Reading the comments quoted in this article it sounds like a guy trying to reassure players that they aren't rushing to sell them a new expansion and they can count on new updates for the existing game world.

Guild Wars 2's flaws are numerous and, unfortunately, only growing. And the negative word-of-mouth about the game has spread ever since the November fiasco.

Why on earth would they rush to release an expansion?

This article is the conceptual equivalent of declaring World War 3 because that one Russian kid pushed an American kid on the playground.

zdog jr:

Scarim Coral:
I think it's a shame unless they will add defeating the remaining elder dragons in patches? In saying so I can easily imagine them adding in explorable areas in the undisclosed places like the Crystel Desert and the Far Shiverpeaks.
Still I wanted them at some point address the current state of Elona and Cantha as in expansion. I have read what happens to those places but will our game characters get to venture those regions?

I can imagine Cantha will have some issue with the fact that a large chunk of people aren't using human characters, at least from what I understand happened to the nation.

Also isn't Elona like all demons now? Though having a large event that allows players to fight their way to reclaim the Far Shiverpeaks or the way to Elona would be a pretty cool way of introducing them.

True, I was guessing that could of been some kind of a hidden resistance or non human races that were in hiding in Cantha (like any Tengu that weren't able to head back to Kryta) or maybe any non human character that enter into Cantha had some sort of diguises that make them look like human as they are capable of doing that in GW2 (Tibur disgusing as Demmi was pure class!).

As with Elona, last time I've read the lore on what happen after GW, it was under the undead hand of Palawa Joko (the undead king that was brought back in Nightfall in exchange for helping the heroes on how to enter the desolation desert).

How does "We're focusing on improving existing events and adding lore" translate to "Guild Wars 2 is the end of the franchise"? Kinda a leap don'tcha think? These small changes that happen with some regularity make the game feel more alive than standard MMOs with their "Big Event every 2 years".

We will focus on developing our current game further. Expanding it and working to create things that will change the game so much that a few years from now you won't even be able to recognize it as the original we started at.

Escapists reaction:

RUN PANIC! A developer is actually supporting their title and plans on expanding on it kinda like WoW did for a decade. PANIC! PANIC!!!

Kind of an over reaction there Earnest.

snekadid:
Wow, what a poorly written article. Obvious axe to grind along with petty gripes makes it difficult to take anything stated seriously, especially when the article itself is based around conjecture about a simple statement that expansions aren't in production yet after only over half a year.

Seriously.

I panicked when I saw the title, but the only content in the article was "We want to make some expansions but we aren't working on any right now." The game has been out for just over 6 months and they're currently in the middle of working on some huge content patches...Is that really such a strange thing to hear from the devs?

What a weird article.

Scarim Coral:
I think it's a shame unless they will add defeating the remaining elder dragons in patches? In saying so I can easily imagine them adding in explorable areas in the undisclosed places like the Crystel Desert and the Far Shiverpeaks.
Still I wanted them at some point address the current state of Elona and Cantha as in expansion. I have read what happens to those places but will our game characters get to venture those regions?

I can imagine Cantha will have some issue with the fact that a large chunk of people aren't using human characters, at least from what I understand happened to the nation.

Also isn't Elona like all demons now? Though having a large event that allows players to fight their way to reclaim the Far Shiverpeaks or the way to Elona would be a pretty cool way of introducing them.

To be honest what kind of killed GW2 rapidly for me was their focus on these "social events" all over the place where to advance you pretty much move from event point to event point and do whatever happens in that area in order to advance. Whether that happens to be fighting local monsters, or carrying chickens to safety, or whatever else, sometimes with a choice of things to do. It was cool at first but got old quickly, and I wound up missing a more traditional MMO structure. Too easy for things to get annoying if there are too many or too few people around.

It was an interesting idea, but I think it's one of those cases where they simply tried to innovate too much, and become all things to all gamers, and it just didn't work out as well as everyone hoped.

It's sad to see the franchise in trouble (despite not being a huge fan), but at the same time I'm not entirely shocked either, after all I wound up stopping playing fairly early on myself.

One also has to wonder at the projections involved in this as well. They did launch with the microtransaction idea right from the beginning, and seemed to have high expectations for it, as opposed to it being a game entirely propelled by it's box sales like the first Guild Wars. It's not a great economy (real world) right now, and on top of that virtual property seems to have not exactly been the cash cow a lot of games expected it would be as people have been catching onto it.

As ironic as this will sound I think the problem we're looking at with a lot of the current crop of MMORPGs that go free to play is that they have no idea how to run a microtransaction system. They tend to either wind up in a situation where they wind up selling entirely cosmetic or conveinence items, and that doesn't seem to be going over all that well in the big picture because most players will tend to ignore those, or just buy a couple of things they like, and then nothing else. Or engaging in harassment where they basically cut down all of the game features to a bear minimum in an effort to force people to subscribe, or force people to drop huge amounts of money unlocking every little thing piecemeal, and even then not allowing you to buy everything if you aren't going to commit to paying a monthly fee (ToR and DCUO are examples of this).

For all their criticisms, I think Cryptic/Perfect World actually hit on the right balance, which is to actually sell items with in game power/effects. Making it so the game is perfectly playable without that stuff (and not even especially difficult to complete the content with what you have free access to) but for it to be desirable. Then to make it so that it's possible to obtain any of the paid content entirely by playing the game over enough time. Money thus becomes a time saving conveinence, not entirely nessicary, but something people are willing to invest in the game more willingly because they don't feel as forced into it. Some people do indeed exploit the system and remain entirely FTP squatters, but most wind up investing some degree of both time and real money into the game. Cryptic/Perfect World's philsophy having apparently taken Star Trek Online from 1 foot and 4 toes in the grave, and turning it into a bigger success than City Of Heroes was for them in it's prime.

A lot of people will go off about greed, management, etc... but looking at which games seem to be doing really well, and which ones seem to be lingering on, I think a lot of it comes down to how they are approaching their business model.

Unless your purely taking the attitude of donating to the game for it's survival (which I have done in the past), one needs to ask themselves WTF anyone would invest in Guild Wars Gems. I mean absolutly nothing there really benefits your character, you can only carry/store so many costumes, dyes are neat but your likely to come up with a color scheme you like long before you buy hundreds of them (assuming your willing to pay that much simply for color), weapon models, exps boosters... etc... none of that really helps you that much in the game, except maybe to hit endgame sooner. Compared to say someone dropping $25 for an Assault Cruiser Refit in STO or whatever, that's pricey, but it actually gives you in game benefits for doing it. What's more it's something you could get in game by say grinding Dil for a month or two if your playing regularly, so someone who really wants one but can't afford it in RL terms could still get it, the game keeps going by simply having so much desirable stuff that it keeps people working towards it in game play, as well as dropping the occasional wad of cash by way of a shortcut or to make their advancement easier. Not perfect or "smart" in any objective sense, but it seems to have worked to the point where I see Perfect World Bragging, where games like Guild Wars 2 seem to be flagging, and games like ToR "enhance" their Free To Play options with mixed results (I sat down and paid a few bucks to unlock a character to the level of subscriber, only to find out stupidly it couldn't be done, largely because of what there was simply no option to upgrade which is how I missed it, the whole microtransaction system there being not only based on harassment, but intended to do little more but force you into subscribing anyway if you really want a full experience, which defeats the entire FTP/Microtransaction system).

So, since i'm a player, they are focusing on the idea of making the world change bit by bit, than just create an expansion? This is bad how?

Wow, what a poorly written article. Obvious axe to grind along with petty gripes makes it difficult to take anything stated seriously, especially when the article itself is based around conjecture about a simple statement that expansions aren't in production yet after only over half a year.

I think it's a shame unless they will add defeating the remaining elder dragons in patches? In saying so I can easily imagine them adding in explorable areas in the undisclosed places like the Crystel Desert and the Far Shiverpeaks.
Still I wanted them at some point address the current state of Elona and Cantha as in expansion. I have read what happens to those places but will our game characters get to venture those regions?

Korten12:

Tragedy's Rebellion:
Tbh they have a looooooooot of work to do to get GW2 to be half as good as GW 1 was. A LOT of stuff is a mess and PvP is just in a horrible state. I hope we get to go to Cantha and Elona again, they are way more interesting than Ascalon, and the "no expansion" thing is just temporary.

Huge chance we won't get Cantha. Originally there was a Cantha district in Divinity Reach, it was completely finished with NPCs and everything. However Koreans and Chinese were angry that it combined their cultures and thus they were forced to remove the district with a giant hole...

Huh, I didn't know that. Shame. It seems unnecessarily melodramatic to me. (Korea and China being angry that is)

Tragedy's Rebellion:
Tbh they have a looooooooot of work to do to get GW2 to be half as good as GW 1 was. A LOT of stuff is a mess and PvP is just in a horrible state. I hope we get to go to Cantha and Elona again, they are way more interesting than Ascalon, and the "no expansion" thing is just temporary.

Huge chance we won't get Cantha. Originally there was a Cantha district in Divinity Reach, it was completely finished with NPCs and everything. However Koreans and Chinese were angry that it combined their cultures and thus they were forced to remove the district with a giant hole...

Tbh they have a looooooooot of work to do to get GW2 to be half as good as GW 1 was. A LOT of stuff is a mess and PvP is just in a horrible state. I hope we get to go to Cantha and Elona again, they are way more interesting than Ascalon, and the "no expansion" thing is just temporary.

Something remotely related: They once let slip that they had only 1 or 2 people work on class balance after release... so yeah, was pretty obvious.
Though that may have been an elaborately crafted fake for all I know... they actually seem to have started making actual class changes again.

Just give me Catnha and I will be happy for a long time. Thats what keep me in GW1. That and the events.

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