“There’s stories to tell everywhere” ArenaNet’s lead content designer Mike Zadorojny tells us.
The lead content designer of Guild Wars 2 Mike Zadorojny has told us that he wouldn’t “rule out” the cherished continents of Cantha and Elona, from Guild Wars expansions Factions and Nightfall, returning to ArenaNet’s MMORPG sequel in the future.
Currently the distinctly Asia-themed Cantha and the Africa-themed Elona are completely missing from Guild Wars 2‘s Tyria focused map, but in an exclusive interview Mike told us that the new fortnightly ‘Living World’ update strategy would allow ArenaNet enough scope to return to areas and themes visited in the original Guild Wars.
“There are many stories for us still to tell in this game, and I would absolutely love to go back and revisit all those locations [from Guild Wars]. I have super fond memories of Elona, I have super fond memories of Cantha and there’s some really cool things in Northern Shiverpeaks. Jormag is still up there, so I would not rule out anything at this point.”
Zadorojny also made us aware that another Elder Dragon Primordus is still rocking around the Tyrian underground as seen in the Eye of the North expansion, so who knows maybe those areas could be revisited as well?
Unsubstantiated rumours swirled around the Guild Wars 2 community earlier this year, stating that publisher NCSoft didn’t wish ArenaNet to focus on producing zones with such a clear cultural inspiration, as they wanted a more neutral landscape so as not to alienate any potential players. These comments from Guild Wars 2′s lead content designer dispel those rumours entirely.
“There’s stories to tell everywhere and I think the one nice thing about being able to do a Living World strategy is that it leaves those doors open. We can go explore those things, we can add some permanent content down there for people to explore and see all those crazy things. Nothing is off the table and this [Living World strategy] just opens the door and makes it a little bit easier for us to do it.”
By Zadorojny’s own admission, this new update strategy does limit the potential of releasing boxed expansions for Guild Wars 2 unlike the previous game in the series, but the features associated with those bulkier boxed updates are still going to come to the game only in a more bite-sized form.
“We’ve probably already released an entire region’s worth of content [since launch] or pretty close to,” Mike told us.
“This is a very collective group that’s coming up with new and interesting things. It doesn’t preclude us from doing things like you would do in an expansion pack. If the story for the expansion pack was going to take us to a new map, we can still do that. If it was going to introduce a new character profession, we can still do that – it [the lack of boxed expansions] doesn’t preclude us. It does take away from the almost Christmas feeling of ‘I can’t wait to open the box and see what’s new’, but you’re basically getting mini versions of those every two weeks.”
Perhaps the clearest message from our time with Mike is that ArenaNet are constantly listening to their fans and that this new fortnightly ‘Living World’ update strategy allows the studio, which now consists of 300 developers and four Living World teams, to be more flexible and reactive when it comes to answering fans’ needs and desires. Be it nuts and bolts features like linking elite gear with achievements or returning to continents which have otherwise been overlooked.
So if you want a future Guild Wars 2 update to feature either Faction‘s Cantha or Nightfall‘s Elona continents, let ArenaNet know via their official forums. There’s already a 26-page thread dedicated to bringing Cantha to the sequel…
Tags: Guild Wars 2
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