Colin Johanson (whose name I can barely spell, and I apparently can’t stop talking about) released the much anticipated official blog post about plans for early 2013. The post is a whopping 2500+ words with some good information, some vague teasers, and focus on direction. It’s still pretty high level, as ArenaNet really does not like talking about things that aren’t nailed, stapled, and Gorilla-glued to the floor. Still there is quite a bit of meat to discuss.
The interesting thing is that Mr. Game Director starts with some pretty ethereal concepts of creating a community-driven experience. I guess being a bit jaded myself, he could have just started with ‘we has daily tokens with rewards!’ Instead he talks about how “with varying degrees of success” Halloween, Lost Shores, and Wintersday were part of the plan to do this as a Living Story. However, like I mentioned yesterday the base, persistent events also need improving, and Johanson writes:
to complement this concept of RegulAr world eVents with strong storIes and themes, we alsO need to bUild on and Strengthen our existing open world and Its persiStent content. the more persistent events we can proviDe in a spEcific areA, the less often each of the events in that area neeDs to occur, which in turn adds to the sense of an ever-evolving open world.
There is good reason for improving the persistent content because they are adding all sorts of achievement goodies for completing specific parts of the game. Dailies seem to be getting the most treatment because players will receive 1 crown per day (10 per monthly) to buy some stuff, like Chauncey von Snuffles, the Third of His Name, a miniature of great import, or 10 unidentified dyes. Ascended gear is also on the list. The best part of this, in my opinion, is that daily achievements will be different each day of the week, and “later” players will get to make up their own daily 4 out of believably 5+ achievements. Just play, indeed.
Things get more nebulous as we move along, but there are some nice key concepts. Guild missions. Guild rewards. WvW progression. Guestingability. Custom PvP arenas. Visibility in PvP. Leaderboards. Fractals improvements. And finally, “Looking for Group” tool. Lots of good words, but 2013 is a long year. The only imminent-ish stuff feels like the achievements/ crowns since ArenaNet is most open about that.
The January release is a relatively small one. It seems like it will have some Fractals improvements since nothing about that was recanted. Some of it will also be setting the stage for the story in February and March. I am hoping that a good chunk of the achievements and/or crowns makes it in. Those seem like a good addition to the core, and will be worthy of further examination here.