Guild Wars 2 ArenaNet Inside Tour, Future Features Plans and Preview

23 Apr 2012

Eurogamer is offering an interesting and lengthy piece on their recent inside tour of ArenaNet's offices, with a separate feature dedicated to some new information snippets they learned from senior VP Randall Price:
"You may not realise this," he said, "but we have development plans in our back pocket for literally years to come."

...

"And then we've got medium-term goals," expanded Price, "and the medium-term goals will relate to things along the line of the patches that will come out post-release of the game, and the cadence that we're going to get into around that, and the way that we're going to be dividing our team between different disciplines to be able to continue to punch out incredible content for people."

And then there are the long-term plans.

"We today know a number of the high-level features that we're going to do, and expansion content for years to come," said Price. "No, it's not drilled down in a way that is - it's all at the five-thousand foot level and above, from a big picture [perspective]. But every month we go through time, we get closer and it gets down and, OK, now we're actually creating content for it."

Furthermore, if you're interested in a normal preview piece, Atomic Gamer has one:
One of the big motivations behind so many of the changes ArenaNet made for GW2's development was to give the player a good feeling, not a bad one, when they saw another player show up nearby in-game. You know the routine: you're hunting a specific NPC or clearing out camps looking for more Shaman Inquisitors or whatever, and another guy shows up and starts doing the same thing, and now you're both struggling to find Shaman Inquisitors to finish the quest. You're in a bad mood because that dude slowed your progress, and you don't want to group with him because screw that guy, right?

Well, in GW2, there is no such a thing as "tagging" a monster so that its loot, XP, and quest items belong solely to you. If two players get damage on a monster, then they both get all the rewards as if they had killed it alone. On top of this, the contribution system for world events is very lenient, with most players who are around for most of an event and doing damage getting "Gold"-level participation rewards. Only those who come in at the end or do very little contributing get Silver- or Bronze-level participation in the world event.

Guild Wars 2 does not require people who want to work together in the outside world to form parties or raids, either. Unless you want to help people with their personal story stuff, you can just run together with random people in an area, talking in local chat if you feel like it, and fighting together without ever using the party system - and things play out mostly like you were in a party all along. Now, if you're entering dungeons or the really involved stuff, you will need to use the party system, which is fully-featured and works like you'd expect in other MMOs.