Guild Wars 2 doesn't need no stinking expansions.
In the year since GW2 launched, it has carved out a large corner of the market, and helped to redefine the MMO genre by providing a genuine breath of fresh air in its uniqueness, and following up strong with constant content updates. Celebrating their first year's achievements both in and out of game, the developers have been making Guild Wars 2's birthday something that their players will never forget. The President of ArenaNet and Executive Producer of Guild Wars 2, Mike O'Brien wrote up a blog post on the GW2 website, looking back over the last year, and giving a state of the game address. Even better, I had the opportunity to ask O'Brien a few questions about his feelings on Guild Wars 2, and to see where ArenaNet is looking going forward.
It's no secret that the Guild Wars 2 developers are very proud of their production schedule. Maintaining content updates at the backbreaking pace of two per month has been definitive for GW2, and the developers have made the Living World updates the primary focus of the game. O'Brien described some of the planning that went into developing the Living World system, saying, "We wanted it so that things would always be happening. We thought, 'doing updates once per month would be a big deal'. But we thought we could do it. And as time went on, we ended up completely reorienting the company to deliver a lot of content regularly."
Guild Wars 2 has become a game about constant dynamic in-game events, and the developers are committed to providing a growing world that players can have a meaningful impact on, and feel like they are a part of something greater than themselves. O'Brien detailed what he thinks sets the Living World apart from other games, explaining, "We wanted dynamic events to be a part of the game, and Living World events. We have over 1,000 dynamic events, so when a player comes upon an event, their question isn't 'Where did this come from?', their question is, 'Hey, how can I get involved with this?' That's what a living world feels like." During our discussion, O'Brien made it clear that this kind of player involvement and maintaining a persistent and life-filled world has not only been crucial to the success of the game thus far, but remains integral to the developers' vision for the future.
O'Brien explained that completing ten quests for Helpless Jimmy doesn't actually do anything for the game's world, because every other hero in the entire game is also helping Helpless Jimmy. If players want to have a meaningful impact on the game, they need to see a tangible result from their efforts, which is the true goal of GW2. Living World events such as the Cutthroat Politics update give players an opportunity to permanently change the game going forward. The developers are trying to achieve a constant feeling that new things are just around the corner, and that the players' involvement is crucial to that change. They want players to feel that things are always changing and growing, and that there is always a new content to be explored.