Guild Wars 2 Developers Answered your questions on Reddit

Mike O’Brien, the President of ArenaNet, with ArenaNet designers and developers are answering your questions about the game and the upcoming beta event in the next three hours.

Here’s who will be participating:

  • Mike O’Brien – President/Founder – MO
  • Chris Whiteside – Lead Producer – Chris
  • Mike Zadorodjny – Content Designer – z
  • Mike Ferguson – WvW Designer – Ferg
  • Peter Giuntoli – Programmer – Peter
  • Jon Peters – Systems Designer – Jon
  • Isaiah Cartwright – Lead Systems Designer – Izzy
why is the beta only available to people who either a) preorder GW2, or b) win a beta key in random obscure contests.

We have a certain amount of server capacity. We promised people who pre-purchase that they’ll have guaranteed slots in each upcoming beta. After taking care of them, we give away remaining slots in online contests.

~ MO

Were any extreme/major changes made to the thief profession? I feel like the thief has been slightly neglected compared to other professions, such as ranger and guardian.

We did do a big thief balancing pass in between last BWE and this BWE so be sure to check out the traits as there is a lot of new stuff in there as well as tweaks to the existing stuff.

~Izzy

Why do some skills root the player for 0.5 seconds?

I’ve tuned a lot of this since the last BWE. Please give it a try and give feedback again. There are still some that stop you that should not, but our philosophy is, skills should stop you if it feels like they should stop you, otherwise, they shouldn’t 🙂

Jon

Uptime and Patching

Guild Wars 2 should expect to have the same amount of down time that Guild Wars 1 has had (which is about 32 hours total give or take a few). We don’t need to take our servers down to patch.

~z

Note: This doesn’t count internet routing issues that interfere with gameplay.

What Profession is the hardest for you as developers to deal with, be it due to balance,skills,fans opinion,etc.

Guardian. 🙂

Jon

What kind of expansion to the World vs. World system are we likely to see, if any?

We’re always looking at ways we can improve the game post ship, but what you’ll be playing this weekend is pretty close to how we intend to ship WvW. We still have a bunch more polish to do, but don’t expect any more areas or expansions any time soon.
Make sure you get plenty of sleep before this weekend 😉

-Ferg

Will Guild Wars 2 be on Steam?

No, it almost certainly won’t be on Steam. Valve has some new business terms will keep almost all new MMOs off Steam.
Keep in mind the GW2 client is free to download from our web site and has no copy protection. (And if it’s really important, you can add non-Steam games to your Steam library.)

~ MO

Will we eventually be able to play with our friends when it comes to random Structured PvP games?

Yes this BWE you will be able to play tournaments which will allow you to play in organized teams with your friends.

~Izzy

how often do you guys read the beta forums?

During the Beta Weekend Event, developers read the forums as they’re able to, in between taking care of the game or participating in playing with the community. After the event ends, people are reading more regularly. One of the reasons that we close the forums to posting after an event is so that our teams have the time to read through feedback without more pouring in.

The global Community Team (all 9 of us) will be reading the forums during almost the entire weekend when we’re on duty.

~RB

When answering the questionnaire and give our opinion about the events in which we engage, I wonder how you manage the data collected in BWE. You work with statistical averages or treat each as an individual and private comment?

We use this data in a number of ways, often we use the averages to help us identify outliers then we can look at the comments to see whats happening.
So both really.

~Izzy

It’s a little bit of both. The average tells us overall how people think a particular event or story step was received but the individual feedback can be crucial to us understanding what particularly stood out to people. The feedback is one of several things we look at when determining what changes we need to make to various areas around the game.

~z

Are you going to allow more customization like the utility skill bar in the main set skill bar/weapon set skill bar? For example, with the guardian (hammer i believe) there was a skill that launches an opponent away from me. This really aggravated me because I wanted to keep my opponent close to me so I can finish him off the way I wanted to, instead of having to chase down him.

Try using skill 5 first, then skill 4 if you want to keep him around. Also we gave the hammer a new skill that is a line attack that immobilizes that should help him chase down enemies.

Jon

Why did you guys decide to make Amulets have such a huge impact on the stats of a character? And do you have plans to add more options (since they seemed limited in the BWE1)?

We moved all statistics to amulets in PvP in order to make it easier to understand and easier to balance. There are a few more and different amulets this time around and we will continue to iterate here.

Jon

As a thief in wvw I feel forced into ranged because of aoe spam

Try scorpion wire out. You can do some cool combos with it.

~z

Also look for stragglers if you are a good stealth thief. Otherwise as a melee thief you want to work with more evasive utilities or go with shortbow for mobility as well as good aoe damage.

Jon

Should we only expect to see tweaks to existing skills (damage, cooldowns, etc.) going forward or is there still room for more radical changes?

We’ll still be doing a lot of balance and tweaks, but we try and avoid major overhalls. For example on thief steal we reduce the number of random items you can get from things so when you steal from something your picking from a list of around 3 things. This allows it to be a lot less random then it was before.

~Izzy

We have made some pretty strong changes here in this BWE build so give it a try and let us know what you think.

Jon

One of the biggest problems for me was during the human story having so much fighting take place in cramped spaces making it almost impossible to actually utilise mobility or kite correctly.Is there any chance this will be improved upon?

We have indeed done a new pass on this from the last beta weekend and now there is a lot more room for you to fight in.

Chris

Actually, that was one of the things that the story team worked on addressing after the last BWE. ^

~z

Are there plans to allow persistant grouping in casual pvp?

This is something we are strongly looking into and should be in before ship, just not this weekend.

Jon

I would really like to know a description of your jobs, please! What does a producer, system designer and president do? 🙂

Systems designers basically come up with the various gameplay elements that are not specifically content related. We handle things like profession and skill design, guild and community features, and any other systemic things like how combat works or character progression features. We also fire nerf darts at anyone within range.

-Ferg

I was blown away by the amount of changes made between BWE1 and 2. Are the tools you use just customized to rapid iteration so that you can change systems/content/features almost on the fly?

Yes, we work a lot on our tools so we can make fast rapid iteration, it blows me away all the time how much we can do. : )

~Izzy

Yes, from day one that was a major part of development for GW1 and more-so with GW2. We believe in order to innovate you must be able to iterate on new ideas so we built many of our tools and development process around this. We hope this means we will be able to continue to support the game strongly heading towards release and beyond.

Jon

What element/feature/idea are you most proud to have implemented into Guild Wars 2?

It’s so hard to pick just one. I’d probably say the fact that we’ve created an online game where people actually tend to go out of their way to help each other and work together. In just about every other MMO I tend to solo and run away from other people unless I specifically intend to group with them, but in GW2 I find myself constantly running towards people because it actually makes life easier and more fun, not frustrating and annoying.

No more shouting ‘that’s my mob’, or getting frustrated at any of the other mechanics that tend to push people away instead of bringing them together. It really feels good to play with other people in GW2, and not just with people I know.

Barring that…WvW 😉

-Ferg

In Guild Wars 2, if every fight across the board is different every single time, how does a PVE player know that they are improving?

Just because the conditions of the world around you are changing based on the outcomes of dynamic events, doesn’t meant that what you need to do to survive changes drastically all of the time. Creatures have a specific set of skills that you will learn as you play the game (and we’ll help you learn with tool tips tell you the style of combat that a particular creature likes to use). What will change however is maybe the numbers and types of creatures that you encounter in a particular area.

Breaking it down a different way, if you see a Modniir centaur using a bow, you will come to know how he’s going to attack. If you want to practice against this particular type of creatures there are places in the world that are dominated by the Modniir forces (I know because I put them there ) that you can find to practice on his particular style. But measuring progress comes down to things like how much damage you take during an encounter, how many times did you have to use a utility or your uber elite skill to survive? Also, when you start getting better at one centaur bowman, can you take down two at the same time, or three, or four?

Now because an event has happened and the Modniir forces now control an forward base the surrounding area is now patrolled by bowman and a caster. You’ve already seen one of these guys and now how to react to him, you just need to adapt your play style to account for the caster.

If you’re looking for a more standardize type of content you can always jump into the dungeons with 4 friends (or random people you meet in the world). They general flow of the dungeon will be the same but don’t expect the run to be identical each time. The dungeon guys have been adding some new random encounters to spice up things in there.

The PvP Lobby is also a good place to try out new tactics and to pratice dodging. The PvP guys have added some training dummies for players to practice against.

Remember: Dodge rolling is your friend!

~z

This question is to Peter Giuntoli what was the most challenging/rewarding thing in gw2 for you to program/develop?

Ooooh man. I’ve been working on GW2 since 2008 and I’ve had the opportunity to work on a lot of different features but I think the most rewarding experience would have to be the world map. It was one of the first things I started working on when I joined the gameplay programming team in 2009 and it’s gone through a lot of iteration (still not done!) over the years. Another highlight would have to be the renown heart system, I really enjoy how that turned out.

-Peter

What do you think sets Guild Wars 2 from other MMORPGS?

Our social structure, in other MMO’s when someone comes up and attacks the same mob as you get upset with them in GW2 you both get full rewards so your happy when you see people. This combined with the fact you can play with your friends at any level allowing you to play at your own pace and still play with your friends really makes the game feel more like a multiplier game.

~Izzy

Hey guys, taking the risk earning a lot of hatred for even mentioning this, but i wanted to ask how “locked” your state of the game is at the moment.

While we are finishing of the game we still pay huge attention to feedback, ensuring that everything we do meets and exceeds our communities expectations. With this in mind we prioritize feedback and internal quality assessments and decide as a group how we action the initiatives.
Thanks for your support and sorry i can’t answer your question in more detail.

Chris

I know that I should complete a dungeon with my main story quest but when I have done that where do I do it again with a team of 4? where do i enter?

After you’ve completed the story mode on the dungeon you can go back to the dungeon entrance and it will give you options to re-enter it. There is currently only one dungeon in the BWE and it is level 30 and it can be found in the Charr map Ashford.

~Izzy

Are all characters on the account bound to one guild, or you can join different guild with each of your created characters?

Your account joins the guild and an account can be in many different guilds then each character can represent a different guild. So yes character can be in different guilds.

~Izzy

When a character joins a guild that guild becomes attached to the player’s account, any characters on that account can then “represent” that guild. A single account can be associated with multiple guilds which means that all characters can have a unique guild if that’s what you’d like to do!

-Peter

Could you please add a possibility to look which traits go in which slots without the need to put points into the line?

yeah we did this. 🙂

Were the best builds 30/10/10/10/10 from actual competitive players or were these simply the most common?

The 30,10,10,10,10 builds were from the best players in our closed test. Also there are many considerations and while not everyone is going to make sense for everyone, from a design standpoint for us, this was the best solution for the most players, and more importantly for the game and how we want it to play.

Jon

At the last WBE my friend and I had difficulties playing together whether in PvE or PvP. Is anything being done about this?

When moving from map to map you will now retain your party.

will people who have played guild wars the first one and all the expansions will they get anything from that?

You can earn rewards in GW2 via the Hall of Monuments so yes you can get some rewards in GW2 from GW1.

~Izzy

Rangers pet functionality, have they been improved?

We’ve done work on ranger pets and performance in between BWE1 and 2.

-Peter

Last BWE I was playing as a Ranger, and I felt that the third chain in the sword “1” skill that leaps to the enemy (plus some lag) made it so I had almost no control over my character. Are you going to/have you altered that skill at all?

In the blog post we talked about improving the “sense of hitting.” That is the phrase we use for all visceral combat improvements. this includes audio, effects, animations, timing of skills, camera shakes, and a number of other things. You should feel an improvement all-around, and I know I made some changes to that particular skill as well. If it still isn’t better after this BWE we will get it there.

Jon

Will you ressurect a Skillpoint giving NPC in Beetletun, Queensdale? It was dead for me since the start of the first BWE.

The skillpoint NPC lives!

-Peter

We need spectator mode and dueling.

I actually has some other unforeseen benefits, so we know it is important and will work hard to get it in asap.

Jon

How does the Mystic Forge works? Are there any advantages of using the Mystic Forge vs. salvaging and crafting

The mystic forge takes 4 items and turns that in to another item. It’s a gamble but allows you to get some powerful items in return. Hope you enjoy it! Psst, try shaking the UI when you’re using it. I love the effect! 🙂

-Peter

Is it intended that 2 handed weapons have only one sigil slot? Doesn’t this make two one-handers better, as you get two sigils?

This is something we wanted to talk about between BWE1 and BWE2, but ran out of time. It is high on the list of stuff to do next.

Jon

What will be the level cap for this BWE?

The level cap for this BWE is 80 (just like release). It just might be a little harder to earn experience once you’ve played through Gendaran Fields. However you can continue to level in WvW. I was able to get my thief up to level 39 in BWE1, and I know there were players who broke the level 40 mark.

~z

In WvW, it’s hard to see the people in your group during PVP. Do you plan to change the font color of regular player’s name to a neutral color (like white) and change the font color of grouped player’s name to a special color (like green) so that we can see and follow our friends more easily in WvW?

It’s something we could potentially talk about doing at some point, but we have no plans to do that yet. We’re waiting to see if our other fixes help alleviate some of the visibility issues we encountered over the last event. -Ferg

I never redeemed my 2000Gems during the first BWE…is there any way I can redeem these during the second?

We won’t be carrying over unspent gem balances from BWE1. But fear not, you can get another 2000 gems in BWE2.

~ MO

What server do you all play on? Just in case someone wanted to be sure and be on a rival server so they could test out your pvp skills.

My character is on Ehmry Bay. I tend to idle in the PvP lobby answering questions or playing WvW.

Jon

How do you see the thief’s steal ability working out in the e-sports section? The items you get from this mechanic are obviously kind of random and usually the e-sports sector likes to steer clear of these kind of random use abilities.

It is not as random as you think. It is really one of 2 or three choices. I find it to be quite useful in PvP.

Jon

Before the Beta event goes live, can you guys write an article listing all the gameplay changes from the last Beta event

We are working on some patch notes for this BWE. It is honestly so msssive that I am sure some things will get lost which is why we did the blog post to overview the larger changes. As we move forward expect patch notes to become more and more accurate.

Jon

Jumping into water with certain skills (like the engi’s Rocket Boots) or from a very high point doesn’t feel like you’re hitting water. There’s no big splash and no bubbles forming in the water. I find this a little bothersome especially since the game is so extremely polished in other regards. Is this something you will fix or look into? 🙂

Sure. We can look into it. 🙂 I can’t promise anything, but we will try.

Jon

Will we eventually be able to see the names and guilds of enemy players in WvW?

You will never be able to see enemy names, you can however see enemy guild tags. -Ferg

are you planning on doing epic long pvp battleground where you can summon things to fight for your side?

You should really check out WvW. Last BWE there were some epic keep sieges that lasted for hours. Those pesky Red invaders finally made it through the inner gates just as our reinforcements arrived to push them back out with an army of arrow carts.

WvW also has ways for you to get NPCs to come aid your assaults to keep things interesting.

~z

Will it be available for mac?

I’m a Mac user too, so I feel your pain. 🙂
Right now we’re obviously focused on launching the game, but I’d love us to be on Mac in the future.
~ MO

Since appearance is supposed more important than stats on gear, will their be a way to preview the appearance of items on our character before purchase from vendors?

We are currently working on Previewer. We will provide more details when we have them.

What do you mean by “Watch This Space” to everyone that asks about if Asura or Sylvari will be in an upcoming BWE?

I am saying we will have to wait and see (-: Neither Asura or Sylvari will be resident in BWE2 however.

Can we get an out-of-combat weapon switch for Elementalist?

This is really a problem for everyone, and not just weapons. We want to have a template system so players can move between different weapon, skill, trait, and item builds, but we want to do it right so it will likely not be until after release.

Jon

Is the frequency of dynamic events going to change prior to launch?

Event frequency is one of the things we’re evaluating with these beta weekends. -Ferg

Will necros ever be given any type of control over their minions ? Even something as simple as attack and stop?

Minions have some AI bugs. They SHOULD attack what you attack and run when you run. We want them to feel uncontrolled, but not broken. Many of those bugs are removed now, but keep helping us find them so we can get it to 100%

Jon

Could you please explain how the Elo system for matching servers is calculated in WvW?

It’s actually a modified glicko system. I don’t want to pull the curtains back too much on this as we’ll be evaluating how it works over the weekend and determining if we need to change some pieces of the formula.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glicko_rating_system

-Ferg

an you offer me any ideas of why the end game will be fun for someone who loves cool looking gear? Do you guys have unique, flashy items that drop in the end game dungeons (I know stats are the same)?

We just introduced a bunch of legendary items that you can craft that I think will fill your desire for some REALLY sweet looking end game gear. -Ferg

Is there any chance that after release we’ll be able to buy your amazing soundtrack?

We’ve got the soundtrack included in our collectors edition!

I didn’t play your first game… I was wondering if I’m able to acquire GW2, will I be missing out on a whole lot? Lore, and otherwise?

We’ve tried to make GW2 extremely accessible to new players coming to the franchise. You won’t know the history of each location and the significance that it played long ago (250+ years before) but we will teach you the important parts. Returning GW1 fans will find nostalgia in visiting those same locations and will surely have a stronger connection to them, but that won’t negatively impact your understanding of the world. It won’t be like you didn’t read a chapter in a book and now everything is referencing what you didn’t read. If there is an old location from GW1 in GW2, there will probably be an NPC studying the importance of said location and be glad to bring you up to speed.

~z

is there any way for me to participate in the Beta Weekend event without pre-purchasing the full game?

ust before this Beta Weekend Event, we did a number of beta code giveaway promotions with media partners and community sites. The best way to find out about these promos is by following us on our social networks like @GuildWars2 on Twitter our or page on Facebook. If you’re not keen on either of those social networks, I noticed that /r/GuildWars2 had compiled a list of sites doing code giveaway contests and promos. There will be ways to get beta codes for future Beta Weekend Events, among them being media sites.

~RB

All the classes are so interesting and awesome! Which one should I play? I’m having a hard time deciding.

I love the warrior. Savage leap FTW!

-Peter

Will there be GvG like in GW1? If not then where are the actual “guild wars” occurring in the game?

There are Guild Wars in WvW. Also Tournaments are our replacement for GvG. The first stage of them is in this BWE, but there will be more hardcore ones coming in the future that build towards monthly and yearly championships.

Jon

Is the game running on more than 1 core this beta event?

Yes!

-Peter

Heard from someone that the world PvP will be a failure, because of extreme lag and low fps. Is that a real treat? ot not?

Absolutely not.

As you are aware the game is not finished yet and our Beta Weekend Events are specifically designed to allow us to improve both the quality of the game and the overall performance.

Thanks for the question and your support.

Chris

The Death Shroud skills we saw during the stress test and BWE1: Are these the final skills?

That skill now applies blind making it much more useful. We are always making skill and trait changes to make the game better. 🙂

If we the players could only test one thing this weekend what would you want us to test?

Different members of the team would give you a completely different answer so here is mine. Explorable Catacombs.

Can we CANCEL a skill?

You, you can cancel by using ESC. 🙂

Can you talk a little about game optimization?

This is something we’ll be working on until release. You’ll see improvements with each beta weekend.

The cold hard technical speak is: we need to fix the main CPU thread getting stalled on occlusion queries to the GPU; we need to fix driver compatibility issues; we’ll continue offloading work to other threads.

~ MO

What is the funniest bug you’ve found during development process?

Sit jumping. I don’t know why, but it seems like everybody loves it (except the guy that introduced it). I’ll actually be sad to see it go.
-Ferg

What goes on behind the scenes?

Well first of all we’ve all worked furiously getting the beta build ready for you. We’ve been testing the hell out of it and squashing any bugs we can find. When hundreds of thousands of people start playing on Friday at noon, generally that uncovers some new bugs, which we fix that day. Then we spend the weekend playing the game with you, reading your posts and feedback, and taking notes about what’s working and what’s not working.

The key issue we face with testing GW2 is that it’s such a social game that it just plays completely differently with thousands of players logged in than it does in smaller internal play-tests. So every hour of play in a beta weekend is super valuable to us. Immediately afterward we make all our plans for what we need to fix/tweak/change prior to the next BWE.

Is there any chance that in future, in the final release we will keep our original characters created in beta phase?

Beta characters will not transfer into the game when it goes live.

Chris

Will there be titles obtainable only in WvW?

We just did some work to get the groundwork in for WvW specific achievements and titles. I’d like to have some of that stuff ready for BWE3, but no promises!

-Ferg

During this beta weekend will we be able to transfer characters to different servers for free or will they cost gems?

As we did last time, we’ll have a period of free transfers at the start of the event to help people find their friends. Then we’ll test the full system for the remainder of the weekend.

What can we expect from this BWE regarding optimization?

We’ve spent some time on performance improvements and will move more of the team on to performance as time goes on. Specifically, we’ve moved some of our processing that was done on our main thread on to other threads.

This BWE will have some client perf improvements, but it won’t magically fix all the problems. This is an area we’ll keep working on to launch.

I was wondering if ANet has considered using cognitive psychologists in their game production and design.

Psychology of play, understanding of player types and target audience’s is extremely important in gaming. This is not a track we hire for specifically but we expect an understanding of this in our employees and especially in game design. Should you want to learn more about career opportunities i would suggest visiting: http://www.arena.net/jobs/

I was disconnected while in WvW and couldn’t get back in. It just kicked me to the login screen and I was locked out of the character.

We are right now working on a fix that will save those characters so you aren’t locked out. -Ferg

Will this beta recognize the GPU and more than 1 core of the CPU?

We still have work to do on performance but you should see improvements from BWE1.

-Peter

Are there any plans to add an item preview feature?

We are working on an item previewer right now. It unfortunately didn’t make it in for BWE2, but we’ll definitely have it prior to ship! -Ferg

How many copies do you need to sell to make this game a success?

First of all, what we all care about in an online world is making a living world that stands the test of time, where players can keep having fun with their friends year after year. So success isn’t based on how many copies the game sells up front. Success is based on whether people keep playing the game over time. And financially, success is based on whether people keep supporting the game by buying new content.

Second, I’ll address this idea that the time of MMOs is closing. If the word “MMO” means the same game mechanics that companies have been hashing out again and again for the last decade, fine, let them rot. But if you change the word “MMO” to “online world”, then I bet we can agree that “online worlds” are only going to keep growing in importance.

~ MO

will our skill points be refunded this BWE since you have introduced skill tiers?

Yep, you should be able to select new skills in the skill tree when you log in!

-Peter

Could you paint a clearer picture of what the WvW dungeon experience will entail?

It’s primarily a PvP experience, with traps that can be operated by players to impede others progress through the dungeon. We may add a few other PvE elements like bosses but we really want this area to be about navigating through the traps scattered through the jumping puzzle and fighting your way past the enemies to get the awesome shiny bits at the end.

-Ferg

In the last BWE some of the skill challenges were bugged, (NPC’s didn’t res and such) were these bugs fixed for the next BWE?

We definitely put in a lot of time to fix bugs that popped up during the first BWE. Thanks for finding those! 🙂

-Peter

Why Amazon is offering bonuses of pre-purchases for pre-orders. (all BWE’s and 3 day head start)? Confirmed by a number of people who only pre-ordered gW2 there.

We’re still working with Amazon to figure out what they’ll be able to do, so I don’t have a final answer for you.

But the basics are this. We have limited server space, so while we guarantee beta access for people who have committed to purchasing the game, we don’t guarantee it for everyone who just walks into a store and says, “yeah, reserve me a copy”.

Some online stores, not just Amazon, are not able to actually bill the credit card until shipment. But the customer has still made his intent to purchase very clear. It’s more like purchasing but being able to get a refund later, which we’re fine with, than it is like just adding a name to a reservation list and then having to come back and purchase later.

Because we know Amazon is important to a lot of customers, we want to find a way for Amazon to be part of the prepurchase program. It would be unfair to exclude them for being up-front about a policy that’s actually already being used behind-the-scenes elsewhere.

~ MO

Can you guys give us a rough idea of just how big your presale numbers were?

Whilst we can’t go into specifics, I can say that we were very excited by the response to the presale and humbled to.
Sorry i can’t give more details and thanks for your support.

Chris

Are all of the game areas (such as Gendarran Fields before this BWE) still under development, or are they just being held back until launch?

We’re constantly adding new events and content to the game. Some of these changes are based on feedback and experiences we obtain from playing in weekend events like BWE1. Obviously we’re holding some things back until launch (we don’t want to show you everything yet!), but we very much are practicing the “When It’s Done” philosophy here at the office. This weekend players from BWE1 may notice some new content we’ve added to the existing maps.

~z

Will there be WvW ranks and rank abilities/gear?

There will not be ranks in WvW. -Ferg

What is the intent with game performance as it applies to multi-core processors (2, 4, 8 core etc)

As part of our performance improvements we plan to push more processing on to multiple cores. We’re already utilizing multiple cores though!

-Peter

How come Guardians are the only Profession that are limited in range abilities? Everyone else has true-ranged skills, but Guardians have skills that can’t go up inclines/ledges (they don’t travel through the air, but on the ground)!

I actually updated those skills since the last BWE. Give scpeter a try I tried to make this the ranged option, particularly in WvW for Guardian.

Jon P

mesmer staff had the same bug, did you guys fixed that as well?

Maybe, I’m not sure, but if not I will get it next time. We discovered a good new way to do it, but not sure I hit every skill yet.

Jon

What is the status on performance optimization?

We’ve worked on improving client and server performance between BWE1 and 2 and plan on focusing more on performance and polish as feature development winds down.

Can we get class icon’s above the Mesmer illusions, as to help with them being actual illusions? Right now it’s easy to identify which one isn’t the real one!

Nice catch. Putting in a bug on this right now!!! Bug #249954!

Will Engi’s get more weapon options in the future? Or possibly more weapon kits?

Yes, both at some point!!!

Can we, or are you planning on implementing – a way for players to duel each other?

We intend to have dueling post release, but when will depend on how demanded it is and how easy it is for us to get it into the game. ECHO!

Jon P

It’s been previously stated that spectator-mode for PvP won’t be available until sometime after launch, any idea about an ETA when we can expect it?

It will be based on how simple it is to add and how requested it is. 🙂

Are there any plans on making a PvP type that can transit into an eSport?

Please give our automatic tournaments a try this weekend. This is our first step towards e-sport. 🙂

Is there a re-work in progress for the Mesmers?

There have been some changes already, but if it is not responsive enough we will make the changes necessary to make Mesmers viable. Please give them a shot in this BWE and let us know what you think. Jon P

What is the status of the Engineer re-work? What kind of changes are being made?

Still in progress. I think the key piece is getting their kits to inherit some of the benefits that you get from collecting and customizing weapons.

This warrior has what appears to be a 2-handed axe. Are there any intentions on implementing 2 handed axes in the game, or will there be greatsword skins that are designed to look like axes?

Two handed axes are awesome. No reason to skin, lets save some cool stuff for expansions 🙂

Jon P

Sense of moving is a great idea, what about a sense of being connected to the ground with walking/animations? Players also experience a ‘sliding’ effect when walking.

We have worked hard on this issue. Just like any game there are cases where you can make it look crazy, but we feel like those are mostly edge cases at this point. We still have some things in mind that we want to do here, but what you see now is close to what you will get.

I will explain a bit how it works.

Visually we have transition animations that help blend between different states, but for those worried about responsiveness those transitions are purely visual so as soon as you press strafe left you are moving at full speed to the left. This disconnect is what sometimes causes the floaty feeling.

Jon P

What is the thought behind the mechanics of the different profressions downed abillities? Some classes get really useful abilities like interrupts and stealth, others get long-cooldown abilities that won’t save them.

We are aware that some professions downed skills are, lets say, less than or greater than desirable. We will need to take a close look at these and I suspect we will do so “soon” TM.
Since there is some debate on it. Bottom line is we want you to be string enough to have a chance to rally but not so strong that you just easily rally every time or are impossible to take down.

Jon

Will we be allowed to group with friends for Arena PvP? In the last beta weekend I could not group as a team to join Arena PvP.

In this BWE we are introducing tournmaments which will allow you to PvP with friends. We have also made some improvements to the hot join games allowing you to follow friends into games via a chat link and will continue to improve these now and after release as well.

Jon P

You have said GvG and Guild Halls will not be available at launch can you confirm that these are features at least being tested internally or on the drawing board for down the road?

Tournaments, which are in this BWE, are the equivilent of GvG in GW2. Players will be able to form teams and enter the most basic form of tournaments this weekend. More tournament support is incoming.

Jon P

Can you please confirm the Cash Shop won’t turn into Pay 2 Win, and that items offered through the shop mostly will be aesthetic?

We have no intention of creating a Pay 2 Win model. We want to offer the player a suite of options to enhance the game and not to unbalance it.
We also intend to work with the community to pioneer what Micro Transaction mean to Online Worlds moving forward.

Chris

Will the Commander Rank for WvWvW have a working 50man Squad UI?

he followers tab in your contacts panel will show you the members of your squad. There is no limit on squad sizes.

We made a bunch of improvements to the squad system over the last month or so and will definitely be looking for feedback on it over the weekend to determine if we need to make additional improvements.
– Ferg

Will we be able to play with you this weekend and how to find you in game?

Many people from the studio will be playing throughout the weekend. I plan to take Friday off just I can spend the whole day in game. It’s an amazing experience for us to play alongside all of you. You’ll be able to easily spot anyone in the ArenaNet guild because of the company logo about our heads. ~z

Will we be able to easier group up with friends.. like change districts and such to reach our friends?

Yes we have improved that for this beta weekend already.

I’m really frustrated at the rate we are able to unlock skills in WvW. Is there a plan to somehow get credit for attacking the target and get progress on a skill without having to land a killing blow?

This was a bug and should now be working as intended. Some of the problems may stil exists but it is our intention that WvW is on equivilent footing reward wise in every way to PvE.

Jon P

Does the team consider big changes to the base game possible following launch?

Yes, we intend to listen to the community and figure out what changes will help improve the game for players, as well as which are technically feasible. There will be a lot of effort going into Guild Wars 2 support after ship.

Jon P

Is first-person-view going to be available? Can we disable the camera-swing?

We are going to making a number of improvements to camera between now and ship. First person is something we want to do but might be a post release things. Yes we will disable the camera swing. Someone just showed it to me.

What is the status on fixing Pet AI?

We have fixed a large number of bugs with pet AI, but there are still some lingering ones. Anyone that finds a good case for reproducing them, please don’t hesitate to post about it in our beta forums or somewhere on the internet and hopefully it finds its way to us.

Jon P

Guild Wars 2 has very competetive, engaging and fun to watch PvP which could lead to the game becoming an e-sport. However, for that to happen, there will have to be a spectator mode. My question is if this is something that will be in the game on release or added at a later date.

We intend to support spectator mode at some point, but right now we are focused on core features to get the game into your hands so that you as the players can help us determine the course of future updates.

Jon P

Will automated tournaments be cross-region or will they be locked to the region your team is part of, I ask this due to latency issues that one may encounter from US teams to EU teams trying to face eachother on equal ground (while not on a LAN event)?

They are per data center.

How many rounds will there be (if any) and what maps will be selected for competitive play by default(if the amount of rounds is lower than the amount of maps available)?

The automatic ones will be 8 team single elimination.

Will changing utility skills and weapon sets while out of combat be disabled for Tournament mode?

Changing utility skills isn’t determined yet, but there will be some solution for tournaments that isn’t in yet.

Can you fix the ability queue?

There is a timeout on the queue. We are always tweaking this, but often it still has some issues that we are still working out. We have tried removing the queue, but that felt even worse than some of the issues we still see now. We have made improvements to queueing since the last BWe and there are still more to come before release.

Jon P

Will the WvW mini dungeon be instanced or will it be part of the WvW map?

It is part of the Eternal Battlegrounds map, not an instance -Ferg

Will the guild cap. remain at 100 members for BWE2? If so, any plans to increase the capacity at launch?

The plan for guild cap is that guilds will be able to gain influence to up their cap. How this will work is not exactly determined yet, but the current limit of 100 is lower than the maximum a guild will be able to achieve.

Jon P

Just got a message from the guild guys that it isn’t influence, but will be some other factor that determines guild size allowed. Also it is not in the next BWE. 🙂

Trait tiers: many dislike it other are not sure, what was the reason behind it?

There were a number of problems with the old system that we felt required a change. We believe this new system keeps the spirit of the old system, while actually working better in the long run. Here are the problems we believe this change solve:

1) Best builds were all 30,10,10,10,10. There was always a super strong trait in every line which made each player only put 10 points into that trait line and still gain a very powerful benefit. In the new system this will still be true, but it will be tempered because people will be giving up going 20 or 30 points into multiple lines. This has allowed us to shift traits around so that more of them get play at different levels, meaning they don’t all have to compete against each other at tier 1.

2) This system is so much easier to balance. It is not reasonable to make 12 equally useful traits, particularly given how some of them had niche effects. Making 12 equal traits is harder, takes longer and ultimately leads to some traits seeing a lot less use. Finally an important point is that balance creates more choice as well because unbalanced and bad builds aren’t really options. The old system created a very small subset of über-builds which stomped out a lot of the good builds along with the bad ones.

3) Opportunity Costs are what make interesting choices. Trait tiers allow us to split the traits. 6 allowed in slot 1, 10 (6 tier 1 and 4 tier 2) allowed in slot 2, and 12(6 tier 1, 4 tier 2 and 2 tier 3) allowed in slot 3. The final 2 tier 3 traits are “elite”-like, in the sense that you can only ever have one of them on your build at once. If I’m making a damage warrior I am going to put 30 points into strength, same as every other big damage warrior, but now those characters are all guaranteed to be split at least in half forcing you to not take one of the two exclusive final traits. Before, anytime a character went 30 points in a line they were taking the same 3 (maybe 3 out of 4) traits.

4) Option Shock. New players at level 20 were clicking on a trait line for the first time and seeing 12 options which was very overwhelming. This gives them a bit of a reprieve to pick between a smaller number of traits at first and then learn more as they have played their character more.

5) Putting 30 points into a line left you with a climax of picking the third most interesting trait which did not feel good. Players want to feel like that decision to go 30 is a big decision and that when they make it they get to make a big decision that simply could not happen in the old system. Now when you commit to 30 points you are rewarded with an important choice as well as options that you didn’t previously have.

Finally, these are not the final balance numbers or often even the final traits/functionality and we will be iterating on this system as we move towards release. I know for certain there are already a number of changes I wish I could have made before this weekend, but they will have to wait until next time. If you had a really fun build before this change and it is lost now, post it in our beta forums and we can figure out how to make it viable. The intention here was not to remove fun, good builds but to create more viable builds that will increase the variety of characters in the game.

Jon P

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