ArenaNet is aiming to make Guild Wars 2 more accessible to players and yet still provide challenges by toning down its vertical progression system and introducing more ways to get high-level gear without grinding, studio design director Chris Whiteside said in a recent Reddit AMA.
"Our intention is to deploy ascended components and gear (higher-level gear) across the whole of the game rather than focus it in one particular location," Whiteside said, responding to a question on player disagreements regarding in-game hierarchies. "[Focus on vertical progression] was a mistake and one that we will not be making moving forward. We do hope to find a balance and ensure that the world of Guild Wars 2 is as accessible and populated as possible and moving forward you will be able to see how we intend to execute on this goal."
Whiteside said that introducing a new post-launch system to counter the vertical progression system already in place will be a challenge, "but something [ArenaNet believes] in." While there are no plans to add new levels of rare loot, the team plans to enhance the potency of currently existing items on a more shallow power curve.
"In short we want all new progression systems to tie into the rest of the world where appropriate and synergize with existing player play styles and activities," he said."
"I think with the support of the community we can continue building a world that does satisfy lots of different types of players in a fashion where everyone feels part of the same community and whose activities impact and interplay with those of differing player types," he added.
Whiteside also said that moving forward, ArenaNet will plan events with worldwide players and their respective timezones in mind, as past events were designed on North American time.