Guild Wars 2 will be ten years old this August and developer ArenaNet recently gave fans a glimpse of what to expect in the future. Guild Wars 2 launched in 2012 and it is still going strong with the new End of Dragons expansion. With a Steam release planned for 2022, a lot of new players might be willing to give the game a shot. Let’s take a look at Guild Wars 2’s journey over the years and what you can expect from ArenaNet amidst all of the promises the dev team has made to its fans.
Guild Wars 2 Does Not Want to Slow Down
ArenaNet announced in 2021 that it is making some big changes to the studio to prepare for the future of Guild Wars 2. The dev team reported that the leadership team at ArenaNet has been strengthened and is implementing DirectX11, the Legendary Armory, and World versus World Restructuring to improve player experience.
ArenaNet said in a blog post that its long-term focus is paying off and the player base has tripled in the past three years which is very promising. With the game set to celebrate its 10th anniversary later this year, the studio will be looking to keep its momentum going. With the developers being happy with the player count and years of content being in the pipeline, potential players should not worry about missing out on an active community.
So what keeps players coming back to Guild Wars 2? The End of Dragons expansion is a story arc that has been in the making for a decade. The rich lore and the gameplay systems which the developers have been trying to improve over the years based on player feedback. The dev team has promised more compelling stories that expand the world of Tyria over the years to come.
ArenaNet is Bringing Back Old Content
If you jump into Guild Wars 2, it can be tricky to understand what the Elder Dragon storyline is all about. With a Steam release imminent, a lot of new players will be jumping into the game and ArenaNet has already laid out plans to improve the new player experience.
After constant player feedback, ArenaNet has decided to bring back Living World Season 1 which is one of the best pieces of content that only veteran Guild Wars 2 players have experienced. Scarlet’s War will be playable once more and it can be accessed via the Story Journal.
To make the story feel coherent, ArenaNet will combine the story of Living World Season 1 and weave it into the five episodes set to release this year. It should feel like playing a brand new game. Veteran players can also revisit the old content that came out almost nine years ago and was subsequently removed.
A lot of existing players might feel that the return of old content is not too appealing, but there is more than meets the eye. Destiny 2 has also vaulted content and it has only worsened the new player experience over time. Players are thrown into the middle of a story with no proper context and some of the expansion campaign content has also been cut out. Guild Wars 2 wants to avoid such a conundrum and is working on offering a solid experience for players who want to play the game for the first time.
In addition to all of the old content, here’s everything that is coming in the next two months:
- 19 April: Living World Season 1 Episode 1, Aetherblade Hideout Challenge Mode
- 10 May: Xunlai Jade Junkyard Challenge Mode
- 24 May: Living World Season 1 Episode 2, Kaineng Overlook Challenge Mode, New Legendary Weapon Variant
- 7 June: Dragon Bash Festival, Harvest Temple Challenge Mode
- 28 June: Balance Update, New Legendary Weapon Variant
Players Need to Experience World versus World
One of the things that set Guild Wars 2 apart from other MMOs is its World versus World combat. It is a game mode that spans four massive maps and three worlds (servers) compete at the same time to complete various objectives. It is open-world combat at its finest and one of the cornerstones of the game.
While the concept of the game mode has been fantastic, like all MMOs, the server population across worlds is not balanced. It ends up creating unfair matchups between servers and it does not offer a fair experience for everyone. While in the right circumstances it can be a lot of fun, only time will tell if ArenaNet gets the balancing right with its balancing update. If the developers manage to address the issue of population balancing, it will be a treat for everyone.
The developers are looking to overhaul the rewards and make the game mode a lot more rewarding. It is one of the most hardcore aspects of Guild Wars 2 as it requires you to manage your upgrades, your team’s scoring, siges, and more. With a balance update set to drop on 28 June 2022, ArenaNet’s balance choices will make or break the game mode for new players joining during the 10-year anniversary.
Conclusion: Should You Play Guild Wars 2 in 2022?
We would be lying if we said Guild Wars 2 is a perfect game. But it does tick a lot of boxes for what makes an MMO fun to us and its iconic world versus world combat alone makes it worth trying out. The core game is free for everyone since 2015 and we strongly recommend trying the free version first to see if you enjoy the gameplay loop. There will also be the fourth expansion after End of Dragons that has already been announced by ArenaNet, which means that years of content are still to come. While the expansion is still a few years away, there is plenty of content yet to come as part of the End of Dragons expansion. Guild Wars 2 is in a really good spot right now and it’s worth checking out if you are looking for a new game to scratch that MMO itch.