Interviews// Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns - Part Two

Posted 31 Mar 2015 12:55 by
Heart of Thorns
Heart of Thorns
SPOnG: The Revenant then - a bit of a dark name. Can you tell us what that character really is about? It does have connotations that those of us who like to play paladins may balk at. Is it unfair to say that they are a dark aligned creature?

IC: Whenever you're building a profession you really want to hark back to a root level archetype that people can adapt to. So we did start a little bit there with 'hey what is a darker, heavy armoured profession?' so that's where the name comes from. I think it's a really different take on it where we've managed to pull from the legends of the past of Guild Wars 2 and really pull from the mist where these powerful entities leave a signature in the mists.

We tried to show in the demo it's not just good guys that become legends, but it's also bad guys. We have Malick who is a powerful demon in the Anguish so that really allows people to see 'hey this guy can pull energies for all sorts of powerful moments and people in the history of Guild Wars'. I think that's a different take and it will be real fun to see how we can play that out.

SPOnG: How will the introduction of the Revenant be dealt with in the PvP side of Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns? Won't everyone want to be one?

Heart of Thorns
Heart of Thorns
JC: Everyone is going to be very excited about the Revenant, but you know, honestly, as far as the impact will be, a lot of things are going to be changing. We are really going to be looking to see where players take it. I've seen some players already latch onto various things. One of our streamers, he's playing Revenant, he's been doing some neat things on Stronghold, he's been using the ability to make roads and blast them to move things down the line.

It's those types of things that are really going to make the Revenant shine. We're just going to see how things will change and evolve, but it's when it gets into players hands they take it places that are completely unexpected, that's what we're looking forward to in our betas.

IC: We really knew that when you put out a new profession everyone is going to want to play it. We tried to counter that by adding specialisations. Every existing profession gets some new toys, some new things to play with.

So that becomes that tension of 'man I had all of those hours on that character and you just gave me some new stuff'. Players want to know about that versus 'let's go start a new character and level this thing up'. We think this will go some way in releasing that initial pressure, but people will want to check out the new profession. That's OK, we expect that but we know after a while it will even back out, so we're just counting for it in the beginning.

Heart of Thorns
Heart of Thorns
SPOnG: Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns will be a paid-for expansion. Is this really how Guild Wars 2 is funded, seeing as it has no subscription fee?

IC: The business team is kind of working a bunch of that stuff out. We haven't really announced how the business model around this is going to be. The root core of Guild Wars 2 has always been a no subscription fee game and will continue to be so. How the payment scheme and so on will be set out, those are all going to be laid out later on. It's not something either of us work on much.

JC: We're all about making Guild Wars 2 awesome and fun!

SPOnG: I know, but this is a question our readers would want an answer to. It is a question of how is all of this content funded? Guild Wars 2 is a vast game that doesn't have any subscription fee and you continue to make content for it.

IC: There's always strengths and weaknesses to every business model, but it puts a lot of onus on us. We have to make things everyone cares about because if we don't make things that everyone cares about then the business doesn't work. So because of that our mentality is: 'how do we get things into the hands of the players?'. I think that makes a very virtuous cycle in that as players of the game, you feel like there's more things coming down and it's always like 'wait a second, this doesn't make any sense'.

But it really makes sense to me in that if I'm rewarded for people just staying in the game, I'm just going to make things that make you stay and never go. I don't have to be forced to make new things.

Heart of Thorns
Heart of Thorns
But if I make a business where the system changes when new things are added we're forced to make new and interesting things all of the time I have to start building a model in my head of how do I get that faster. I think the customer really wins out in our business model as it keeps us developers always driving towards something, which is beneficial for both sides.

JC: It really is that simple, how do we make an awesome game? How do we make Guild Wars 2 so awesome?

SPOnG: Thank you very much for your time!
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