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How Guild Wars 2's developer had to change to create a 'Living World'

New content comes to ArenaNet's massively multiplayer online game Guild Wars 2 every two weeks, and design lead Mike Zadorojny explained how and why the developer does that at the Eurogamer Expo today.

ArenaNet is devoted to the idea of a "living world" that is always changing, in which players experience something new every time they log on and player choice matters. Releasing new content every two weeks, tied together through a storyline, allows this to happen.

"It's really about new journeys and new experiences for the players," Zadorojny said.

To off its rather aggressive two-week release schedule, ArenaNet "re-architected" the company to support that strategy. There are four "Living World" teams, each of which is responsible for one month of content. An additional 8-15 teams are responsible for doing other things in the game alongside the new content, like the recently revamped currency wallet.

"We want the players involved."

ArenaNet also uses the content it creates to lead players to other new content, like the Queen's Jubilee event from earlier this year. Some of the most popular content becomes permanent in Guild Wars 2. With the recent Cutthroat Politics content, ArenaNet allowed players to vote on upcoming content.

"We want the players involved," he said.

Zadorojny believes that the advantages of the Living World theory are that Guild Wars 2 encourages a "more engaged player base" and a consistently growing community — both of which include new and returning players.

What's next for Guild Wars 2? More events that change the landscape of the game, more special events and more interaction with the players to find out what they'd like in the game.

But what's literally next is Twilight Assault, a content update that will hit next Tuesday, Oct. 1. It will be tuned to level 80 characters and contain new puzzles, traps and bosses. The character Caithe will return, as will the "mad villain" Scarlet.

Those who'd like to play Guild Wars 2 can sign up for a free weekend at the game's official website. It will run from Sept. 27 to Oct. 3. For more on what you'll see in the MMO, be sure to check out Polygon's Guild Wars 2 review.

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