Flameseeker Chronicles: 2018 Guild Wars 2 predictions

I adore looking back on last year’s predictions about what’s to come in Guild Wars 2 in the next twelve months: Even when my predictions are totally wrong, they stand as an excellent marker of how I was feeling about the game and what the gaming climate was like at the time the predictions were made. I love making new predictions each year and it’s a key part of my annual MMO checklist, alongside setting my personal gaming goals for the year ahead to look back on at a later date too. This year’s predictions blend safe bets based on where development is currently at with some more far-reaching points of note.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll look back on my old predictions and appraise them retrospectively, and I’ll also set new ones for 2018. This article will be spoilerific by nature if you’re not caught up with current developments, so skip for a while it if you’re behind.

Looking back on last year’s predictions

A new expansion did release… 10 points to Ravenclaw!

Okay, so maybe I don’t deserve points considering that we knew that an expansion team had been deployed for some time before the new year, but I still deserve kudos for that. Where my points go burning up in flames is on the content I guessed it would contain: It really didn’t focus on Primordus as the main protagonist as I suspected and the Balthazar arc threw me for a loop! I said that the expansion would be announced far earlier in the year, I thought it would launch in October (meh, sort of close actually), and that the previous season would end in June (again, sort of close since it ended in July).

Raid content didn’t stagnate until Path of Fire… -10 points!

I am so delighted to be wrong on this point, considering how much I enjoy the raiding content. Bastion of the Penitent hit in that Q1 window that I was sure couldn’t possibly have a raid release in, and Hall of Chains hit in the Q4 window that I had also blacked out of possibility. I think I was super wrong here because I didn’t factor in how busy summer would be with the season finale I correctly predicted to hit in the middle of the year, and I also assumed a longer hype train to PoF that would dominate that latter half of the year.

Cadence was met all year… another 10 points to me!

I have been blown away by ArenaNet‘s commitment to keeping content flowing throughout 2017, and I have no doubt that this will continue into 2018 as well. I was surprised that the expansion followed the Season 3 finale so closely, but I’m happy it was the case despite the distinct lack of expansion hype at the time.

PvP was almost as meh as predicted but wasn’t entirely muted — zéro point!

PvP-related content definitely didn’t see the total love vacuum I predicted, but we weren’t too far off it in all honesty so I don’t call this a complete fail. We did see some nice new shinies throughout the year, but I didn’t call my prediction a complete fail because the eSports scene did die a death and players still have many of the same gripes as ever really. While I do think this is an area where steady improvements are being made, those steps are usually so small and underhyped that it clouds the overall impression of notable developments in this area I suppose. Am I just mean to give myself no negative points for this section? PvP enthusiasts, you tell me!

Looking ahead to 2018

Big focus on that Inquest thread

I’m sort of cheating here because this is such a new story thread that it just has to be explored further really, but I’m pegging my hopes on some really nice story revolving around the Inquest that explains how they got tangled up with Balthazar and where he reached out to them in the first place. Mystery and intrigue abound around the organisation and they might lead us to some really cool new places as we track down this story thread, so it’s definitely on my radar for 2018. ArenaNet will be missing out on a really interesting story arc if this is dropped, and that’s not likely after introducing it so carefully.

We’ll be Joko loco in 2018

Dealing with Palawa Joko will dominate this year, and for good reason! Having such a powerful undead after us is not a story thread that can be safely rested for a while, so we need to sort this out before the next expansion otherwise we risk story stagnation. I am predicting that we do not secure a permanent win against him, however, but I think we can tie him up somehow to allow other threads to advance while still keeping the NPC as a future threat.

Getting back to Kralk

I believe that placating Kralkatorrik will be a serious theme of the new season, and I’m not sure how we’ll approach this. I think Aurene will be the key to this taming effort alongside Taimi, and perhaps this thread will tie into the tech know-how of the Inquest somehow? Perhaps Taimi will have noted something in the first episode of Living World Season 4 that will further that line of investigation? I also think we’ll pick back up with Caithe: She’s bound to be interested in the events that have happened in Aurene’s life lately, right?

What about Jormag?

Braham is still bratty and Rox isn’t doing a great job of placating him. I can totally see the story cutting away to a chapter revolving around him and Jormag, especially since the Commander is failing to get him back on-side. The role of dragons as story hooks has been altered by Taimi’s findings, which makes following up this thread interesting from a narrative perspective too.

The whole thing draws back to E!

I’m calling it now: 2018 is the year I finally find out who E is! Mystery figures are part and parcel when it comes to the GW2 story, but none top E. We really deserve to see some progression on this front after so much waiting and anticipation and I’m sure I’m not alone in making this assertion either. I’ve heard some crazy E theories, up to and including E being a future version of the player character or another god walking among the mortals. I am predicting that E is the key to dealing with Palawa Joko or to restabilising the balance of draconic magic energy.

Expansion 3 announcement, but no 2018 release

I don’t believe a new expansion will release until Q1 2019, though this will break that fall release window we’ve seen so far and is a bit of a bold move. Unless season 4 is rather short, though, I can’t see it being too much sooner than this. I am unsure how the expansion announcement itself will shape up, especially after the eerily mellow pre-launch window for PoF. I’ll go with an announcement in November for a January-February release. I think this season won’t end until around October or November anyway, so it makes sense in my head using that as a timeframe guide.

Further mount types are coming this year

I am totally hoping I’m right on this one call above all others: I want to see even more mount functionality in GW2 and more unique utilities to travel with. There is huge scope for racial mounts, of course, and I’m guessing this could be an area of future expansion. I’d do anything for a golem-based mount, for instance.

Over to you!

I’ve made some safe and some not-so-safe predictions for 2018: What do you see in the game’s future this year? Leave me your predictions list in the comments and perhaps I’ll revisit it next year in my 2019 predictions article!

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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