Guild Wars 2 team vows ‘better context’ for controversial class changes following death threats


Ideally, an MMO patch day should be filled with delight and exploration. Sometimes, however, there’s a sense of dread, especially when the developers start making drastic changes to classes. Such is the case for Guild Wars 2, as the balance patch that lands today does so in the midst of controversy over ArenaNet’s adjustments and a private chat leak that attempted to pin the blame on a single dev.

The furor over these changes has been so loud that Game Director Josh Davis posted a letter in the forums last night acknowledging the “heated” discussion that’s taken place over the past week. Davis admitted that the studio erred by neglecting to provide “better context” for the balance pass, but of course that doesn’t justify the “extreme toxicity, [calls] for developers to be fired, or […] death threats” he notes some players dispatched in the aftermath.

“For this update, we opted to forego including ‘design notes’ in the release notes that explain the ‘why’ behind the changes, and instead chose to provide a general overview in the June studio update blog,” he writes. “This wasn’t an arbitrary decision on our part, but in retrospect, it was the wrong decision. We’ll change our approach for future updates.”

Davis vowed to not only provide these design notes in the near future but also to share the “long-term vision” for Guild Wars 2’s class balance.

“Perhaps more importantly, we need to share the long-term vision for Guild Wars 2 profession balance and how it applies to PvE, PvP, and WvW. This has been provided piecemeal over the years (and some of it has bubbled up through unofficial channels without full context), but we haven’t provided anything official. This is a good opportunity for us to introduce some new voices in the internal discussion as well–Cameron Rich for example, who recently took on the role of Lead Systems Designer for Guild Wars 2. This future post will be a larger collaborative effort that will take some time to complete, especially as we bring new voices into the process, but we’ll aim to have it ready before our next major professions update.”

The next major professions update is slated for mid-fall. Today’s patch should be live around noon EDT.

Source: Guild Wars 2. Thanks Padre!
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