Guild Wars 2 bringing back Living World Season One, confirms new expansion, a new Cantha map set, and more

There is a ton of new info for the decade-old MMO.

Image via ArenaNet

In a blog post, the Guild Wars 2 development team released a massive update surrounding the game’s immediate and long-term future, including some movements in the company, new content, and more.

The team started off by introducing two ArenaNet team members who have recently been promoted. Amy Liu is now the team’s executive producer, in charge of the “how and when” of GW2 development. Josh “Grouch” Davis has been promoted to game director and is now responsible for the “what and why” of GW2 development.

The rest of the blog post details a long-winded explanation of what is happening in the game going forward. Here are the biggest takeaways from the blog post.

Guild Wars 2’s plans to release to Steam

Guild Wars 2 developers are looking to release the game on Steam to open the MMO up to a new pool of customers—and the team is planning on releasing it to the platform sometime this year. They are also working on getting DirectX11 out of the beta stage, which will make it the default graphics setting for all players.

Living World Season One returns for the first time in a long time

Image via ArenaNet

Living World Season One, which is currently unavailable to play, is coming back as a free addition to the game. Episodes will release on a schedule, much like they do for current Living World stories, and only the first two episodes are planned in the current spring roadmap. There are a lot of references to Scarlet Briar in End of Dragons, so this is a great chance for those who didn’t get the opportunity to play it when it was available to pick it up and learn the context behind some of the End of Dragons content.

World vs. World gets some news

No one has heard any news about World vs. World since the September blog post that outlined in detail what was going on with the game mode. A lot of it still stands in this update, but the team elaborated on what is going on now that End of Dragons has been released.

The developers are still working on Phase One of the WvW restructuring, so players can expect to see another beta in the next few months. But it will still be a Phase One beta. There will also be increased rewards, but the devs haven’t elaborated on what those rewards will be just yet.

More regular balance updates

Going along with the team’s goals for WvW is profession balance. It’s one of the biggest points of discussion across all game modes and it will be getting more frequent updates, especially if there are small tweaks that need to be made in between larger patches.

The developers also said that they will be looking into underused weapon skills, traits, and utilities to increase viability. More PvP and WvW balance changes are coming on March 29. The first major profession balance will happen on June 28.

More PvE content centered in Cantha

After End of Dragons was released, the devs spent a great amount of time addressing issues such as exploits, bug fixes, and small balance issues. They also worked to adjust the Dragon’s End meta after players complained on social media about its intense difficulty and the fact that they locked the Turtle mount behind its completion. Now that players feel more comfortable with the meta with these changes and have had a lot of their biggest gameplay concerns addressed, the team is moving on to some new things.

Strike Mission Challenge Modes are coming to the game in a timed release, generation three Legendary Weapon variants are starting to make their way into content patches, and there’s a new story update coming for the game which includes a new map set in Cantha.

Spring 2022 roadmap

In the past, ArenaNet has flip-flopped between being very transparent and then being very quiet. Moving forward, Guild Wars 2 will be getting regular “State of the Game” blog posts. And this one even provided a roadmap to what the next four months will look like.

Image via ArenaNet
  • March 29: Super Adventure Festival begins, End of Dragons polish patch
  • April 19: Living World Season One Episode One, Aetherblade Hideout Strike Mission Challenge Mode
  • May 10: Xunlai Jade Junkyard Challenge Mode
  • May 24: Living World Season One Episode Two, Kaineng Overlook Challenge Mode, New Legendary Weapon Variant
  • June 7: Dragon Bash Festival, Harvest Temple Challenge Mode
  • June 28: Balance Update, New Legendary Weapon Variant

For WvW, there will be betas and bonus events, but those events don’t have a date yet and will be announced once they do.

A new Guild Wars 2 expansion

Although the End of Dragons expansion gave players a nice tidy ending to a story that has been developing for almost 10 years, the team has more story to tell and has confirmed already that there will be another Guild Wars 2 expansion.

News surrounding the new expansion will be very light and there is likely to be a lot of Living World story in between End of Dragons and the next expansion, so players should not expect to hear anything about the new expansion anytime soon.

Now that players are getting more regular updates from Liu and Grouch, more news is expected for other game modes such as WvW and PvP, as well as regular updates around balance patches and story content. Guild Wars 2 will also celebrate its 10th anniversary this year on Aug. 28, and fans are hoping for an all-out celebration around that time.