More from Colin Johanson on the Forums

Colin Johanson has taken to the forums again to make a post about the future of Guild Wars 2. This isn't the "big post" that we are all waiting for, but more like a teaser of what is to come. I personally like the sounds of the direction that they are headed and would like to go over that a bit today.

Colin Johanson - Game Director
One of our goals for 2013 will be evaluating all of the bosses and creatures in the game, from open world to dungeons, to try and make them more exciting and fun to fight against. 
In general if anything has a really high health pool, it needs to have unique abilities to make it exciting for the entire time, or actually change abilities/tactics as it goes down in health to ensure it stays fun and exciting to fight against. 
We realize there are a number of bosses in the game, from the open world to instances that all can be more fun to fight than they are now. We’ll be tackling that this year in part of our goal to make our core game as strong as possible.

The only thing I do not like about this post is how much he down plays how bad the current encounters are. When he says, "we realize there are a number of bosses in the game..." that should read, "we realize most bosses in the game...". In my opinion it really is that bad. I do not fight veterans or champions unless I have to for some sort of completion or if they are in my way. I can not think of a single champion fight in this game that does not have too much HP. However, I have already discussed my opinions on this in the article on spotlighting that I wrote in December. You can find a lot of my feelings on this there.

Subject Alpha from CoE.
One thing I hope they do consider though is that some bosses do not need more abilities or a change in difficultly to make them more interesting. Some of the bosses just need to have their HP reduced and others just need to be removed from the game all together. For example, Kholer in Ascalonian Catacombs is a good fight. He has interesting mechanic but the fight just lasts too long. Adding more mechanics to that fight will not make it any better they just need to reduce the length of that fight by getting rid of some of his HP. On the other hand, the Alpha in Crucible of Eternity just needs to be removed from several of the encounters. Currently you have to suffer through the same encounter three times in a row on all three dungeon paths. In my opinion that is eight times too many and the Alpha should be mostly removed from CoE and replaced with something else. Something fun.

I am glad though that the Anet team is taking this on. It is something that has been needed for a long time and really should have been considered before the game was released especially from a company that keeps using the line, "we will release it when it is ready." The constant back tracking from Anet seems to imply that they do not release things when they are ready, but simply push things out on a predetermined schedule. Personally, I would like some consistency from Anet in terms of their community outreach. Hopefully that is going to get better as is hinted at in Colin's next post where he goes on about the forth coming announcement,

There will be a blog post in around week or so that summarizes the high level plan for the first 6 months of 2013 for Gw2. 
Then each of the individual releases for January, February, etc. will have their own release pages on our website, as well as blog posts describing specific important new features where appropriate. 
More info coming in about a week once it’s all edited and localized!

A week! That is all that is left before we finally get to see what this controversial "expansions worth of content" actually is. From what Colin is saying it sounds like we are going to get a lot of information. Firstly, it sounds like we will be getting a high level post that will go over everything for the first half of 2013. Secondly, we will also receive detailed reports for each month and the plans for release. It seems to imply we will get all that in one week which would be awesome, but I suspect we will only see the high level preview in a week, and the detailed monthly reports will have to wait until a week or so before each release.

The only reason to go to Southsun.
Reading between the lines of other posts by the devs it seems January will be minor fixes, February will be WvW, and March will be PvP. PvE may receive some minor additions over this period of time, but I would not expect the boss fixes that Colin discussed in his other post until later in the year. For starters in his post he said that the team will be working on fixing encounters in the first half of 2013. That seems to imply that it will not be released until later first half or early second half 2013.

Either way I do think this is the correct path for Anet to take with the game. There is absolutely no point in adding new zones and content if it is going to be like Southsun Cove. Nobody goes to this island except to get the Rich Orichalcum node. Another five zones like this is not going to make the game any better. Improving all the existing content and zones that are absolutely dead will have a positive impact on the game. As I mentioned earlier in the week there are some good spots in this game, particularly Ebonhawke. Anet just needs to expand on the work they did there. Interesting fights and solid rewards are a start, but as I discussed with Ebonhawke, a rich story, well done dynamic events, and tons of nooks and crannies to explore goes a long way. 

I think it goes without saying, next week will be exciting. We will finally get to see if Anet's vision of the future for this game is in line with what we the players think. I know I am excited are you?


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