The past few years might not have been kind to MMOs, but ArenaNet and Guild Wars 2 have managed to pull through. The developer's choice to shirk subscription fees for a flat, upfront fee was a wise decision and so far, a sustainable model.
ArenaNet recently announced that Guild Wars 2 has sold over 3 million copies as of its release back in August 2012. Along with this revelation came the developer's announcement of things to come in 2013.
"Our goals for the New Year are to build on the areas of the game that were successful in 2012," wrote Guild Wars 2 director Colin Johanson in a blog post, "to learn and apply lessons from things that didn’t work as well, and to make sure that 2013 is a year none of us will ever forget."
Johanson then went on to explain that the development team wanted to expand on the "key pillars" of Guild Wars 2—community and player relationships. In order to do this, the team plans on expanding on unique storylines and events, which "We attempted to do this with varying degrees of success with our Halloween, Lost Shores, and Wintersday events," stated Johanson.
In order to make this goal successful, Johanson believes that the team will have to work on finding ways to make players of all explore areas with persistent events. To do this, they're working on expanding the game's reward system.
"The concept behind this is to allow players to earn new rewards for achievements," Johanson wrote, "as well as progressing down achievement paths that take advantage of the open world experience. We’ll add tokens for your achievements that you can turn in to select from a list of rewards, including new reward types like Ascended gear and Infusions. We’ll add support so daily achievements will be different each day of the week, which will help drive players to different areas of the world and play together. Later, we’ll also be adding a system that lets you complete a subgroup of achievements to fulfill your daily. For example, if there are 6 daily achievements available, you’ll only need to do 4 of the 6, so you can choose the achievements that you’re most interested in."
Other features planned for 2013 include a World vs. World update. Paid server transfers and guesting abilities will be added, allowing players to visit and play with friends on different servers. To have players build server loyalty, ArenaNet will be putting down cost restrictions. Switching from server to server will incur extra charges and time limitations will be set for visiting different servers. To motivate players to want to play on different servers despite extra charges, the developers have created a new progression system of only World vs. World-only abilities and bonuses.
PvP content will also be updated, as the PvP rewards system will be overhauled. New additions will also be made to make Guild Wars 2 feel more like a competitive game, including the ability to watch a player's own matches along with ranked ones, the ability to host arenas and set up custom rules, and new leaderboards to allow visible rankings.
2013 holds many ambitions for the Guild Wars 2 team, but considering the successes it's had in 2012, their goals might not be too lofty.