Recently I had the chance to sit down with Isaiah Cartwright the Lead Designer of Guild Wars 2 and ask him some of the questions the Anook community recently submitted.

1. PvP/WvW Questions

@ragxz asks: Can you go into more detail regarding how team / individual ranking will work in this new patch and what the type of rating system will be (Glicko, ELO, etc.)?

Isaiah Cartwright: We are still testing and tuning our ratings system, but I can tell you that we use a Glicko-based formula that we’ve modified for our needs. For matchmaking purposes, a team’s rating is an average of the individuals.

@LOKi asks: Do you think the new PvP map Spirit Watch will be a map that is used heavily in competitive play? Why did you choose that map/secondary objective style over others?

Isaiah Cartwright: I think it has potential. Having a very single area focus can drive a lot of strong large-scale combat, which can be a fun different pace from the other maps. We also saw a lot of players asking for a capture-the-flag mechanic, so we wanted to try that system in conjunction with capture points. We’ve developed capture-the-flag maps internally in the past, and they didn’t fit our game very well, but we feel that Spirit Watch is a nice blend of both CTF and conquest.

@zenox asks: Can you hint towards a few things that an avid WvW oriented player can look forward to from this month's and the following month's patch?

Isaiah Cartwright: We have a large team working on changes for WvW but they are not coming out in the February build. Some of the changes include a new progression system to make it more rewarding to play in WvW and more things to buy with badges. We’re investigating and evaluating the badge drop rates, improvements to culling, and a number of smaller quality of life improvements in WvW.

@Lowell asks: In regards to the PvP/Esport spectrum can we expect anything in addition to Team Ranked?

Isaiah Cartwright: This update will mainly focus around the new Spirit Watch map as well as continuing to improve this system. In future updates we’ll have more systems for PvP/E-sport including custom arenas and other E-sport focused features.

2. PvE/Item Questions

@LadyKaguya asks: Will there eventually be any more features that are more focused for the impressive/RP player types? Player housing, more emotes, town clothing, being able to sit in forth?

Isaiah Cartwright: We’re always looking at new and fun ways for players to show off, so we’ll continue to add new weapon and armor skins, town clothes, titles and other systems to allow players to show off their accomplishments and achievements. This is very important to us and it’s something we will never stop adding to and improving.

@yuii asks: Can you elaborate on the different types of guild missions that went live in this patch? What inspired you implement this type of content in the game?

Isaiah Cartwright: We really wanted to create content for guilds to work together to experience and to overcome. We think this type of content needs to be challenging, so you have to work together in order to defeat it.

I’ll talk some about Guild Bounties, as it will be the first content people can unlock. There are 3 tiers to guild bounties, which allow guilds of different size and skill to do them. When you start a Guild Bounty, you to find x boss encounters hidden around the world and defeat them within the time limit. Each encounter has been set up to be a challenge that you have to overcome, and they’re balanced in such a way that your guild will want to split up in order to defeat them all in time. The higher tiers will require more bosses to be defeated in the same amount of time.

The other guild challenges are also meant to be challenging and require a lot of guild communication and organization. It’s our main goal for this content: you must work together as a guild in order to succeed.

@shinnon asks: Any plans to utilize the living story as a tool for adding new maps for us to explore while giving us more of that map/story periodically to fulfill our desire for adventure and progression?

Isaiah Cartwright: We have a lot of plans for the living story. Our goals are not to add lots of new maps for people to explore, but to add more content in each map that people want to do. Our systems really allow us to continue to add to each map and to build on the living, constantly evolving aspects of the game

@emmet.pilsworth asks: Are there plans to bring more back pieces into the game? If so, what kinds? (Things like capes, wings, sacks, bags, books, weapon sheaths, Bullet Bags, etc)

Isaiah Cartwright: Yes, we plan on adding many more back items to the game.

3. Gameplay

@Hyxorcisten asks: Will we be able to cast spells while jumping in the future? (So we can use more spells while kiting.)

Isaiah Cartwright: Jumping isn’t a huge focus in Guild Wars 2 combat because we don’t want people to run around continually jumping in order to get an advantage, so for this reason we probably won’t be adding things you can do while jumping.

@Hyxorcisten asks: Any chance enemy castbars/macro/personal focustarget are coming in the future?

Isaiah Cartwright: We do like a lot of those features but we’re still evaluating how they fit into Guild Wars 2. We are always looking for ways to improve the clarity of combat and these may be tools we could use to improve that.

4. Other

@Chocy asks: Can you give us an ETA for the web profiles/armory?

Isaiah Cartwright: We don’t have any ETA for this at the moment. We have a team working on it, but that’s all I can say right now.

Huge thanks to Isaiah for answering the community's questions! Thanks also to Allie at ArenaNet for help setting this up and the Anook community for the questions!