We're three weeks removed from the launch of the latest Guild Wars 2 expansion, End of Dragons, and ArenaNet has been mostly silent during that time, stamping out bugs and making sure everything is running as smoothly as can be. Now that the worst of the post-expansion issues have been tackled, it's time to look to the future, and that's what ArenaNet leadership did in a long and comprehensive article posted today.
The number of overall GW2 players has doubled over the past three years, and End of Dragons has already outsold the previous expansion, Path of Fire. Challenge Modes for the four strike missions will start arriving on April 19, and the first variant legendary weapons, based on the Elder Dragon Zhaitan, will come on May 24. Another set of legendary variants is due to arrive on June 28.
A key area singled out for attention was "delivering consistent updates for our players." That will include "continuing to tell compelling stories that expand the world of Tyria while providing a better experience for those who enjoy game modes such as World vs. World, Player vs. Player, and endgame group content."
In my opinion, apart from some snags in the first few years of the game, ArenaNet has been pretty good about delivering content at a consistent pace, though it's usually been of a limited variety. Those early days of the game included a lot of content that was only available for a limited time. Back then, it was GW2's MO to FOMO you to death by presenting content that was only in the game for as little as two weeks.
Later this year, however, much of the Season 1 Living World content will return on a permanent basis, to help "provide a cohesive bridge" between that early content and what came later. The first Season 1 content to make its return will be the Flame and Frost chapter, which releases on April 19. The season will conclude with the Battle for Lion's Arch, which will include a new Strike Mission and Challenge Mode.
Fans of WvW, PvP, and raids would tell you they're starved for new content, which has been the case for a long time. As ArenaNet announced last year, World vs. World will be seeing some significant changes, both in terms of faction balancing and rewards. Quarterly profession updates are also returning, with light balance changes due to arrive on March 29 (along with Super Adventure Box) and the first major profession update happening June 28.
With all that going on, the studio's top priority is still its long-delayed launch on Steam, which ArenaNet is hopeful will take place this year. Regular "State of the Game" blog posts will keep players updated on this and all other important topics ...
... like the game's fourth expansion, which the blog post concluded by officially announcing. "This is a very early confirmation (the earliest we've ever done this, in fact)," ArenaNet said, adding that we shouldn't expect to hear too much about it for a while, since there's "plenty of cool things to look forward to between now and then." The old ArenaNet policy used to be to announce a new thing "when it's ready," so going by that logic, the fourth expansion should be ready by, oh, mid-summer at the latest, right?
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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