Andrew Barker
E3 2014: Guild Wars 2 - Season 2 Preview
Behind the scenes of what's next for Guild Wars 2.
06.17.14 - 10:01 PM

Fellow editor Dave Yeager and I had a chance to sit down with Guild Wars 2's Associate Game Director, Steven Waller, during E3 this year to learn more about the game's upcoming Season 2. He took the time to explain to us the "Living World" concepts that will be in place with the new content, along with some other new features that will be implemented. We also had a chance to ask him some questions about what Guild Wars 2 might bring us next.

For those who may have missed it, Season 1's end brought to a close the current story with the destruction of Lion's Arch. Scarlet Briar, the antagonist, attempted to destroy it, and players would be involved with its defence and final battle. Of course, the story isn't finished; a final roar at the end of the Season 1 end cinematic let players know it wasn't over yet. Steven Waller explained that he wanted players to have a moment of "What just happened? Is this the beginning? We thought it was the end."

In order to take on the challenges of creating episodic-style content for Guild Wars 2, Waller explained the studio needed some changes.

"We restructured the studio to get to the point where we could do this sort of episodic style of game. We were releasing content every 2 weeks at the end of the year. It took reworking of the tools, workflows, the release process in general — and so it was a big undertaking for us not only in figuring out how to release this episodic content that is meaningful, but also in this infrastructure that is required. So at the end of season 1 we really hit our stride, and now we have this platform in place which allows us to release content at this fast paced cadence, more similar to episodic television."

He went on to clarify that while television is great for inspiration in this style, TV is a passive experience and a game needs to be an interactive one.

And for those who may have missed Season 1, he reassures new or returning players that "We've made a conscious effort to ensure that things are self-contained enough that you can have fun with just a single episode." In fact, even if you missed the first season, you'll be able to go back and play it for a small fee.

This is part of the new Story Journal, which documents all aspects of Guild Wars 2's "Living World" so you can go back and play it again on your own or with friends. If you are active (you only need to log in once) during a story period, that will then be forever saved in your journal for replay. Waller describes it as "sort of like a DVR for video games."

If you need a recap of the events of Season 1, take a look at the brand new trailer below (includes spoilers):

Season 2 of Guild Wars 2's Living World will be releasing on July 1st. We'll be sure to update you with new news as it emerges.