: Congrats on such a successful launch, Colin. Before we get to the "future plans" for Guild Wars 2, can you share with us what the team sees as the biggest current pressing issue in the live game, and what are you all doing to remedy it?
: Thank you very much! It has been incredible and humbling to see so many people pour into the game, and how positive the reviews and feedback on the game have been so far. Of course with an MMO, once the game ships is when your work has really only begun, which leads me to the answer to your question….
At the time that I wrote this blog post, I think the absolute most pressing issue in the game (bugs aside) is providing enough varied content for players to do after playing the game for hundreds of hours. Depending on what type of gamer you are, GW2 provides a pretty extensive depth of content and features to explore across all the levels, including once you reach the max level. However, we’ve seen a lot of feedback that people want even more to do, and our goal is to give everyone exactly that. Depending on what part of the game you’re interested in, and hopefully you want to do a bit of everything, there is different aspects we’re working on to expand the range of things for a player to do.
For PvP players, we have a lot of great casual PvP for them to play, rewards to earn, and new ranks to continue to build towards. However, we lack a number of the features to support truly competitive and ranked play for the more skilled PvP players. As Jonathan Sharp noted in his recent blog post, this is an area we’re focusing on very heavily, and we’ll have more to share about our progress soon.
For WvW players, we simply have more people trying to play WvW than the game can currently support. We’re working on finding ways to get more people in playing WvW, so everyone can take part in the epic battles going on across the mists and not spend time in queues.
For PvE players, we’re adding more content and new types of content to the game so people have both a larger range of stuff to do in existing locations, as well as new places to explore and new features to see to give them even more to do. Some of this content we’ll be sharing ahead of time, but other parts we will leave for you players to discover. We also want to better reward players for doing a number of the things in the game that currently aren’t rewarding enough, and add new features and things to do that expand the range of content a player can experience.
For folks interested in any and all of the above, we’re also adding world events, festivals, new rewards, and greater over-all depth to the game to build towards offering the richest experience we possibly can. We realize that when you release an MMO, you need to very early on show a commitment to your customers that you’re going to support the heck out of your game. The fruits of these labors will be appearing in GW2 VERY soon, and you’ll start seeing new additions come in rapid succession as we continue supporting our live game.
: Now, let's focus on the live teams each a little bit. How goes the fight against the spammers and bots with the live security team? (If this isn't answered in question one.)
: The battle is going extremely well currently! We’ve hired a number of new support staff to work with our security team to identify and nuke numerous bots and hackers, and we’re continuing to refine our detection methods to get more of them every day. Last week more than 4800 bots and hackers were banned from the game permanently. Our customer service team has improved its ticket response time down so it now takes ¼ the amount of time it used to when we launched. We’re continuing to improve in all of these areas, and shooting for making the game as bot and hacker free as we possibly can.
Each day that goes by, our response team gets faster and our ability to detect them better. We know we still have work to do, we need to get even better at finding and removing them, but we’ve come an incredibly long way in a very short time since launch and have put more people on this problem to solve it.