Despite previous evidence suggesting an expansion pack for Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet's lead content designer Mike Zadorojny has now revealed that their Living Story updates may mean such an add-on is no longer on the table. While expansions were a significant part of the first Guild Wars, the sequel's utilisation of microtransactions could mean they never need to rely on paid content additions.
"So right now we're not really looking at expansions as an option," Zadorojny told Eurogamer . "It's something that's on the table but it's not something we're focused on, because what we want to do is - our idea here is that with Living World, we can do what expansions would have done but do it on a more regular basis."
"If we do this right," he continued, "we will probably never do an expansion and everything will be going into this Living World strategy."
That strategy involves four teams, each given four months to produce two updates that will deploy across their given month. It started earlier in the year with the Flame and Frost update chain, but has continued with Secret of Southsun, and again this month with Dragon Bash and Sky Pirates of Tyria . The plan is to constantly give players reasons to come back, and check out the newest "episode" of the game's world.
That in turn, bolsters the number of players in-game, and as such the potential number of people who will use the real-money Gem Store. When asked if the microtransactions were enough to support the game, Zadorojny confirmed that yes, "It absolutely is enough." He went on to assure that ArenaNet had no plans to introduce pay-to-win items into their store.
In fact, a post on the Guild Wars 2 blog reveals another non-paid method for receiving exclusive items and account-wide boosts. From July 9th, with the launch of the Bazaar of the Four Winds update, achievements are being overhauled, with the following items available based on a player's achievement score:
- Exclusive armor and weapon skin unlocks – including Radiant armor, Hellfire armor, and the Zenith weapon set.
- Permanent account bonuses—permanent boosts to Magic Find, experience from kills, karma gain, and more. Earn achievement points on any character and get rewards for all of your characters.
- Currencies – gold, gems, karma, and laurels.
- PvP Rewards—skins and glory boosters.
- WvW Rewards—use Badges of Honor and siege blueprints to help push your server to victory.
- Utility Items—Instant Repair Canisters, Revive Orbs, powerful boosters, and more.
- Unique Titles—show off your dedication to your fellow players.
The update will also work retroactively, so if you've already invested a healthy amount of time in the game, you should get a nice bonus come Tuesday's update.