Flameseeker Chronicles: Guild Wars 2 predictions for 2016

    
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2015 is coming to a close, and I’ve eaten my own bodyweight (and then some!) in festive treats, so it’s the perfect time to put my wishes for Guild Wars 2 in 2016 out there while I’m looking forward to the year ahead. With Heart of Thorns so freshly installed on our machines and an action-packed 2015, one prediction I can be sure will come true is that the coming year will see more reactive development, a very busy team at ArenaNet, and more content to fill out and continue on from the seeds sown in October, even if that content is divisive!

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll make some predictions about what lies ahead for GW2 in 2016, most of which will be fairly standard speculation with the odd potential spoiler clearly marked throughout. I’d recommend skipping the hidden spoiler text entirely if you’re not through with the HoT and raiding storylines yet!

OK, so I’m cheating a wee bit here because we already know that most things on my list are definitely coming in some form or another, but the details for most are very light so far and my mind is in overdrive as I try to fill the gaps that have been left by ArenaNet’s very tightly sealed lips. I’ll outline what we know so far for each section before trying to piece it all together more specifically. We will have another state-of-play update from the man himself, Game Director Colin Johanson, next month, so we’ll know some of the answers soon enough!

gw2 wvw

WvW overhaul in Q1

What we know is coming

We have already been made aware that a significant WvW overhaul is coming in 2016 and that it will be preceded by a smaller update to the system that will hopefully be the first of many regular improvements to WvW. The update removes the automatic timed nature of upgrading to increase player activity, reduces the catapult cost by 10 supply to encourage strong offense, points per kill will be turned on, and the ability to revive comrades from defeated during combat is no more.

What I predict will come

I’m imagining more indirect supporting roles coming to WvW, much like we’ve seen in Stronghold. If ArenaNet manages to pull that off successfully, the backlash from moving PvP towards pro eSports might well be diminished since more casual PvPers, myself included, will feel more included. The dolyak based upgrading — and specifically players’ ability to prevent that from happening — is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the potential WvW has for these supportive roles that allow players to get involved without being frontline ready. WvW will shift to a more GvG scenario, which would be a most welcome development that would really pave the way for formal guild alliances. I predict that the revamp will be with us in February-March.

gw2 raids

Raiding developments throughout the year

What we know is coming

We know that what we’ve seen so far is only the first raid wing of supposedly many and that the next wing will be with us fairly soon, perhaps as early as February? Back in the pre-HoT hype, the ArenaNet raid team thought that six raid wings per year could be feasible, so to hack that pace the next one would need to be ready fairly sharpish in the new year. I think that date could perhaps be problematic when we consider the WvW overhaul that I’m placing around the same time, so we’ll see!

What I predict will come

I want to see more mastery incorporation, and perhaps even some new masteries that are specific to raids. Reveal spoiler

I don’t want to spoil anything if you haven’t managed to follow along with the raid storyline, but I can say that I hope to see further development down the old road the team is treading in the story so far with the White Mantle coming back into the lore.
I’m hoping that there’ll be perhaps nine new bosses this year, which seems like enough to keep me occupied without making all of my gaming time about raiding. Gaps of about a quarter would suit between new releases to give us all time to digest them, so I predict that six wings won’t happen this year.

gw2 living world

No new expansion, but we will have Season 3!

What we know is coming

Okay, after the crazy train that was the HoT launch, I’m sure it’s safe to assume that 2016 will not see ArenaNet take on round two! We most definitely won’t have a new expansion to play with this year, and we already have been led to believe that much of 2016’s development will take the form of regular, smaller updates that are reactive and corrective in nature. I think this is the perfect way to go after a major content release, and I wrote about why back in my launch diary.

What I predict will come

I can see Season 3 of the Living Story coming our way just after a little more raid development happens, so perhaps around June in time for the summer holidays. “What’ll happen in the new Season?”, I hear you cry? Reveal spoiler

Well, I can’t answer that for sure, but after the HoT story, I imagine that we’ll need a new draconic threat and some answers after such an aprupt ending.
I know that I’ve been left with plenty of questions that need answering, so I’m presuming you’ve been too. I consider the expansion to be a story springboard that denotes a change of pace and ample opportunity for creative storytelling, so I hope 2016 doesn’t let me down. I would love to see a new zone gradually unveil itself throughout the latter half of the year with some of that story.

gw2 pvp

E-sports, e-sports, and more e-sports!

What we know is coming

Do I even need to go through this segment? We know that more competitive PvP is on the horizon, and despite a rocky start in terms of balance and not without its fair share of drama, Colin Johanson has dubbed the pro league experiment a relative success with over 400,000 unique viewers over the league week. In his own words:

Are we LoL? Hell no we’re not. But PvP has been steadily growing for the last two years and it keeps growing faster and faster. Rather than knock it, let’s all get behind it and root for it.

What I predict will come

You know what? To hell with it: I can totally get on board with something that doesn’t personally appeal to me as a player if it’s good for the game in general. If the pro league keeps eyes on GW2 then the team should capitalise on it with all the marketing and hype that can be thrown at it. I’m hoping that we’ll see more positivity surrounding the game’s foray into eSports in 2016, and I equally hope that a wide range of players are fulfilled by this push. I would love to see more events and bigger prizes that could perhaps attract professional multi-game competitive teams.

Over to you!

You’ve heard my opinions for quite long enough, fair reader: Now it’s over to you to see in 2016 with your own predictions. Be as general or specific as you like, but do let me know your thoughts. How did you think I’ve done with my ideas? I kept it deliberately quite light, but if you have any questions or would like clarification, just ask.

Tina Lauro has been playing Guild Wars 2 since it launched and now pens the long-running Flameseeker Chronicles column, which runs every other Wednesday and covers everything from GW2 guides and news to opinion pieces and dev diary breakdowns. If there’s a GW2 topic you’d love to see covered, drop a comment Tina’s way or mail her at tina@massivelyop.com.

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BringDaAmblamps
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BringDaAmblamps

squidgod2000 Great post.  I thought I was the only one feeling this way.  Needless to say, I barely play these days because of this.  GW2 turned out to be an absolute grind/farmfest to the max (this wouldn’t be as bad if there was actual substance to the game-to which there is very little to none).

adygeorge007
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adygeorge007

Maybe they will make the damn pets playable? I left cause pets were running circles in PvP, heard it isn’t much better. Hope they fix the damn thing and let the pets hit and use spells when moving, just like players can.

BritoBruno
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BritoBruno

By the way, there’s this tournament in gw2, playermade, which is a 1v1 with random traits.
I’m sure it’ll get to a point where’s more successful than GW2 ESL.

BritoBruno
Guest
BritoBruno

Oleg Chebeneev TheZebes WoW Arenas are purely pillar-humping, but denying that wow made a crapload of internet celebrities, like Swifty, Athene and Bajhera, is denying facts.
WoW pvp is a mess, but so is GW2 pvp. I don’t know what you guys are going on about here.

BritoBruno
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BritoBruno

Craywulf Dystopiq That’s from SAB release.

BritoBruno
Guest
BritoBruno

Bannex19 3 years of sword swinging.

BritoBruno
Guest
BritoBruno

Craywulf Quincha It’s not doom and gloom but it sure made GW2 look a lot more mediocre than it should be.

RiccardoTavano
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RiccardoTavano

Kalamari Do not know about guild missions, but surely more fractals would be pretty welcome :D But i still wonder how they will add them to the new “fixed map” fractals…mmmhh…substitute some ? or will they add them after rising the cap to 150 ? :s who knows.

Kenny A
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Kenny A

Kalamari Azerothian I think you really underestimate how fast people can devour content. In the past, didn’t they say that they weren’t expecting people to get to end-game so fast? (the endgame back then being the legendaries) which made them push out Ascended sooner than expected.

Kenny A
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Kenny A

Bannex19 …While stating: “I think we’re in a great place with GW2”