ArenaNet:Developer updates/Archive July-Aug 2007

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[Dev Update] External Items in Pre-Searing - 17 August 2007

Players have expressed concern about various items appearing in the Pre-Searing Ascalon that are not naturally obtained in that area. There is some confusion about whether such items are legitimate, or whether they are appearing in that area as a result of a cheat.

There are three ways that externally-obtained items may have made their way into Pre-Searing Ascalon:

  • Players activate their bonus weapons in Pre-Searing. We have no problem with this, and although the items are not really balanced for the area, we will not stop players from generating or using those items.
  • About a year ago, we briefly introduced a bug that allowed players from Pre-Searing to travel to their guild halls and back. We quickly fixed this bug. Since players may not have understood that it was a bug, we didn't ban anyone for taking advantage of it.
  • Recently, some players figured out how to hack their game client in a way that allowed them to travel from Pre-Searing to Battle Isles and back. Players who hacked their client to travel to and from Pre-Searing were clearly knowingly exploiting the game, so we will be banning all of them.

Here are the details of what will result from this situation:

  • If you hacked your client to travel to/from Pre-Searing, you will be or have already been banned.
  • If you received an item that was recently smuggled into Pre-Searing by a hacker, and our Support team believes that you knew or should have known that the item you received was the result of an exploit, then you may also be banned.

We regret the concern that this situation has caused our players. We are confident that we have closed the exploit that allowed players to carry external items into Pre-Searing Ascalon, and we feel that we have reached the best possible resolution of the matter.


[Dev Update]GW:EN Skills in the ATS – 17 August 2007

Players have expressed a concern about whether Guild Wars: Eye of the North skills that they obtain during the Sneak Peek Weekend will be functional in the Automated Tournament System. The designers will be adding code that will disable the use of all GW:EN skills within the ATS prior to release of the game.

The critical thing for players to know is that the GW:EN skills can still be equipped on a skill bar. The skills will appear to be functional; they will not be greyed-out or in any other way look as if they are non-functioning skills. That will only become clear if a player attempts to use a GW:EN skill in an ATS match and find that the skill does not work.

Please be aware of this situation, and relay the information to your guild mates and to other players: Do not take GW:EN skills into the ATS, for they will not function.


[Dev Update] Gladiator Titles -- Proposed Changes

Within a few weeks we will be implementing a system that takes action against players who continually leave prior to the end of battles in PvP. This has been requested for quite some time, so we hope it addresses the problem. However, we also wish to ensure that when the anti-leaver system is implemented, players are not in a position where they feel we are punishing them for using the "best way" to get points towards the Gladiator title (i.e., continually leaving groups until you get into one that has a reasonable chance to get 10 wins in a row.) The way we hope to accomplish this is to reward players for each win or for smaller winning streaks so players are more concerned about "Can we win this fight?" rather than "Can we win this fight and the next 9 fights?" Our hope is that players would then be more likely to at least finish the battle they are on before returning to the outpost if they decide to join a different team.

The intention of this change is not to make the Gladiator Title easier to achieve. Rather, the designers are simply trying to change the way one acquires that title so that the system no longer punishes, or wastes the time of, those who stay on a team that is unlikely to have long winning streaks. The required points-per-rank in the title track would be increased to reflect the increase to the amount of points being given, and current title holder's number of Gladiator Points would be increased proportionately as well.

Here are three proposals for the new Gladiator Title System:

Proposal 1

More regular progess:

  • Every win gives you 1 point.
  • Players get points for streaks. Players get 5 points for each 5 consecutive wins.

Updating Current Title Holders:

  • Multiply current player points by 30.
  • Multiply each rank by 20

Proposal 1 Details:

Title 1: 500 points; Gladiator
Title 2: 1000 points; Fierce Gladiator
Title 3: 2000 points; Mighty Gladiator
Title 4: 3360 points; Deadly Gladiator
Title 5: 5600 points; Terrifying Gladiator
Title 6: 9320 points; Conquering Gladiator
Title 7: 5500 points; Subjugating Gladiator
Title 8: 25920 points; Vanquishing Gladiator
Title 9: 43200 points; King's Gladiator
Title 10: 72000 points; Emperor's Gladiator*
Title 11: 120000 points; Balthazar's Gladiator*
Title 12: 200000 points; Legendary Gladiator*

Proposal 2

  • Every 5 wins gives you 1 point
  • Every additional 5 consecutive wins gives you 2 points.

Updating Current Title Holders:

  • Multiply current player points by 4
  • Multiply each rank requirement by 3

Proposal 2 Details:

Title 1: 75 points; Gladiator
Title 2: 150 points; Fierce Gladiator
Title 3: 300 points; Mighty Gladiator
Title 4: 504 points; Deadly Gladiator
Title 5: 840 points; Terrifying Gladiator
Title 6: 1398 points; Conquering Gladiator
Title 7: 2325 points; Subjugating Gladiator
Title 8: 3888 points; Vanquishing Gladiator
Title 9: 6480 points; King's Gladiator
Title 10: 10800 points; Emperor's Gladiator
Title 11: 18000 points; Balthazar's Gladiator
Title 12: 30000 points; Legendary Gladiator

Proposal 3

  • Every 5 wins gives you 1 point
  • Every additional 5 wins gives you a bonus point (plus the original 1 for 5 wins). 10 wins = 2 total points, 15 = 3 total points, etc. This would be capped at 3 or 4 for every 5 win streak to keep it from getting out of control.
  • Multiply current points by 5
  • Multiply each rank by 4

Proposal 3 Details:

Title 1: 100 points; Gladiator
Title 2: 200 points; Fierce Gladiator
Title 3: 400 points; Mighty Gladiator
Title 4: 672 points; Deadly Gladiator
Title 5: 1120 points; Terrifying Gladiator
Title 6: 1864 points; Conquering Gladiator
Title 7: 3100 points; Subjugating Gladiator
Title 8: 5184 points; Vanquishing Gladiator
Title 9: 8640 points; King's Gladiator
Title 10: 14400 points; Emperor's Gladiator*
Title 11: 24000 points; Balthazar's Gladiator*
Title 12: 40000 points; Legendary Gladiator*

The current Gladiator Title Track

Title 1: 25 points; Gladiator
Title 2: 50 points; Fierce Gladiator
Title 3: 100 points; Mighty Gladiator
Title 4: 168 points; Deadly Gladiator
Title 5: 280 points; Terrifying Gladiator
Title 6: 466 points; Conquering Gladiator
Title 7: 775 points; Subjugating Gladiator
Title 8: 1296 points; Vanquishing Gladiator
Title 9: 2160 points; King's Gladiator
Title 10: 3600 points; Emperor's Gladiator
Title 11: 6000 points; Balthazar's Gladiator
Title 12: 10000 points; Legendary Gladiator

Please provide feedback! These ideas are not set in stone, nor are the specific numbers associated with the proposals. Please discuss this, offer suggestions for tweaks to the numbers, or offer alternative ideas. Keep in mind that players who leave battles prematurely will be punished, so we are looking for a system that encourages players to stay in battle, or at least a system that does not reward those who leave until they find a team that suits them. We will accept your input on this discussion page. Thank you for your input


[Dev Update] Skills, Heroes' Ascent, Victory or Death -- 09 August 2007

Our goal for this test week is to assess some global changes—-namely adjustments to Victory or Death and long-lasting shut-down Hexes. Specific builds that were either overpowering or uninteresting to play, such as the Shadow Prison Assassin and Ritualist spikers, were scaled down. As with previous test weeks, we'll carefully monitor the metagame throughout the week and make changes as needed. After the testing, we'll decide which changes to keep and which to revert.

Skill Changes

Assassin

To diversify Assassin Skill Bars, we've helped some non-elite Shadow Step options by making them more readily available. Combined with the duration reduction to Shadow Prison, the increased cost of Black Spider Strike, and the decreased cost of Golden Phoenix Strike, this will hopefully lessen the Assassin's reliance on Shadow Prison and encourage interesting build choices. Expose Defenses proved a superior Assassin Hex, so we increased its recharge time to make using it more of a tradeoff.

Mesmer

  • Arcane Echo: decreased recharge time to 20 seconds.
  • Cry of Frustration: decreased recharge time to 15 seconds.
  • Drain Enchantment: increased Energy cost to 15; increased casting time to 2 seconds; decreased recharge time to 20 seconds; increased Energy gain to 15..25.
  • Echo: decreased recharge time to 10 seconds.
  • Illusionary Weaponry: decreased recharge time to 25 seconds.
  • Panic: decreased duration to 5..20 seconds.
  • Signet of Illusions: functionality changed to: "Your next 1..2 Spells use your Illusion attribute instead of their normal attribute."
  • Spirit of Failure: increased Energy cost to 15.
  • Spirit Shackles: decreased duration to 5..20 seconds.
The theme behind the Mesmer changes is to decrease the power of long-lasting "passive" Hexes. Decreasing the duration of Panic and Spirit Shackles and increasing the Energy cost of Spirit of Failure should make Mesmer builds more active and Energy-bound. Echo and Arcane Echo received another decrease to their recharge time to make them a possibility for dynamic new builds. Meanwhile, we're experimenting with bumping up Signet of Illusions for cross-attribute strategies.

Necromancer

  • Faintheartedness: decreased duration to 3..24 seconds.
  • Meekness: decreased duration to 5..30 seconds; decreased recharge time to 15 seconds.
  • Price of Failure: increased Energy cost to 15; decreased damage to 1..46.
  • Plague Sending: functionality changed to: Sacrifice 10% maximum Health. Transfer 1..3 negative Conditions and their remaining durations from yourself to target foe and all adjacent foes.
  • Plague Signet: decreased recharge time to 4 seconds.
  • Plague Touch: functionality changed to: Transfer 1..2 negative Conditions and their remaining durations from yourself to target touched foe; attribute is now Curses.
  • Poisoned Heart: functionality changed to: All adjacent foes are Poisoned for 5..15 seconds. For 10 seconds, you suffer -5..-2 Health degeneration.
  • Reckless Haste: decreased Energy cost to 10; decreased casting time to 1 second; decreased recharge time to 10 seconds; decreased duration to 4..10 seconds; increased miss chance to 50%.
  • Rip Enchantment: functionality changed to: You lose 30..10% Health. Remove one Enchantment from target foe.
  • Shadow of Fear: decreased duration to 5..30 seconds.
The Necromancer's "fire and forget" anti-melee Hexes have been an increasing source of passive defense that we would like to move away from. The longer-lasting shut-down Hexes (Faintheartedness, Price of Failure, Reckless Haste, Shadow of Fear, and Meekness) were scaled down to make them more active or to further strain resources. The Condition transferring abilities of the Necromancer are largely ignored, so we've improved Plague Touch, Plague Sending, and Plague Signet to flesh out this aspect of the profession.

Elementalist

After improving Glyph of Lesser Energy earlier this year, we wanted to push more Glyphs into a similar range. Elemental Power got a massive power increase, affecting your next 10 Spells, while Renewal and Energy got lowered recharge times to make them more worthy of their elite status. Chilling Winds is a hard-to-use combo Skill, so we decreased the cost to reward that build choice, while Rodgort's Invocation and Arc Lightning received recharge boosts to improve their damage over time. On the defensive front, Blurred Vision was made more active (and therefore more Energy-intensive over time) as part of our sweeping Hex balance, and Blinding Surge took a minor duration hit to pressure resources a bit more.

Monk

  • Aegis: decreased Energy cost to 10; decreased area of effect to earshot.
  • Blessed Light: decreased recharge time to 3 seconds.
  • Guardian: increased duration to 2..7 seconds; increased block rate to 50%.
  • Judge's Intervention: decreased recharge time to 8 seconds.
  • Remove Hex: decreased casting time to 1 second; increased recharge time to 8 seconds.
  • Shield of Regeneration: increased recharge time to 8 seconds.
Aegis received a rework this month, reducing its range from party to earshot (1/5 of the original range) to address the passive nature of "Aegis Chaining." To compensate, the more active Skill, Guardian, received a boost to both duration and block chance. Combined with effective Energy management, Shield of Regeneration's prior reduction to .25 second cast time has made it popular in 4v4 play, but we'd like to see a bit more diversity. In the same vein, Blessed Light received a buff, in the hopes that it would compete with its big-brother, Divert Hexes. Remove Hex's 2-second cast time kept it in the scrap yard, so we're hoping its superior recharge makes it viable next to Holy Veil.

Warrior

  • Berserker Stance: decreased recharge time to 20 seconds.
  • Crude Swing: functionality changed to: Attack all adjacent foes. Each foe you hit is struck for 1..20 damage. You have -40 armor while activating this Skill.
  • Flourish: decreased recharge time to 8 seconds; increased Energy gained per recharging attack Skill to 2..7.
  • "For Great Justice!": decreased Energy cost to 5; increased adrenaline gain to 100%.
  • Savage Slash: decreased Energy cost to 5.
The Warrior received a few boosts, mostly to Skills that often go unused. We made Flourish more worthy as an elite, hoping to see it in more builds. "For Great Justice!" now has greater potential to boost adrenaline at the expense of less Energy, while the negative end effect of Berserker Stance is enough of a drawback that a 20-second recharge time seems appropriate. Lastly, we made Savage Slash more affordable, halving its cost to promote interrupts in melee combat.

Ranger

  • Equinox: decreased casting time to 3 seconds; decreased recharge time to 15 seconds.
  • Escape: decreased recharge time to 12 seconds; decreased duration to 1..8 seconds; increased move speed boost to 33%.
  • Famine: decreased casting time to 3 seconds; decreased recharge time to 15 seconds.
  • Flame Trap: increased damage to 5..20.
  • Greater Conflagration: decreased recharge time to 15 seconds.
  • Infuriating Heat: decreased casting time to 3 seconds; decreased recharge time to 15 seconds.
  • Lacerate: decreased Energy cost to 10; decreased activation time to 3 seconds; decreased recharge time to 15 seconds.
  • Point Blank Shot: decreased Energy cost to 5; increased damage to 10..40.
  • Punishing Shot: decreased recharge time to 5 seconds.
  • Run as One: decreased recharge time to 15 seconds.
  • Storm Chaser: decreased recharge time to 20 seconds.
  • Zojun's Shot: decreased Energy cost to 5; increased damage to 10..40.
Elite Nature Rituals can have extensive effects, but their 5 second cast time made them interrupt-bait (when near the battle) and their long recharges made them unreliable. We lowered their casting time to 3 seconds and significantly decreased their recharge time so teams feel they can rely on them as build choices. Natural Stride left its friends Storm Chaser, Escape, and Run as One eating its dust, so we improved those run-speed Stances in hopes they'll be valid options. Additionally, we increased several Ranger bow attacks to evaluate in the various metagames.

Dervish

We improved the Dervish's largely unused speed boost Stances to grant this profession more access to mobility without cross-classing. Attacker's Insight was adjusted to take into account the low cost of Dervish attack Skills. Situational skills, such as Meditation and Grenth's Fingers received lower recharge times so that they are more likely to be available when the opportunity to use them arises.

Ritualist

  • Ancestors' Rage: this Skill now causes Exhaustion.
  • Anguish: decreased Energy cost to 10; decreased recharge time to 20 seconds; this Skill now causes Exhaustion.
  • Defiant Was Xinrae: decreased Energy cost to 5; decreased recharge time to 5 seconds; increased duration to 5..15 seconds; this Skill now causes Exhaustion.
  • Disenchantment: decreased Energy cost to 10; decreased recharge time to 20 seconds; this Skill now causes Exhaustion.
  • Dissonance: decreased Energy cost to 10; decreased recharge time to 20 seconds; this Skill now causes Exhaustion.
  • Gaze of Fury: decreased recharge time to 20 seconds.
  • Recovery: fixed a bug that caused the effect to persist even after the Spirit had died.
  • Sight Beyond Sight: decreased recharge time to 15 seconds.
  • Spirit Burn: decreased recharge time to 6 seconds; decreased damage to 5..50 damage; decreased conditional damage to 10..40.
  • Spirit Rift: increased casting time to 2 seconds.
  • Splinter Weapon: decreased recharge time duration to 20 seconds.
  • Vital Weapon: decreased duration to 5..35 seconds.
  • Wanderlust: this skill now causes Exhaustion.
  • Wielder's Strike: this skill now causes Exhaustion.
  • Xinrae's Weapon: decreased Energy cost to 10; decreased recharge time to 10 seconds; this skill now causes Exhaustion.
A while back, we adjusted expensive Ritualist spells. This week we wanted to examine Exhaustion and see if the reduced sustainability of these skills would make them more balanced and interesting. We scaled down a number of Ritualist damage Spells as well, to further move away from "Rit Spike" builds that combine too much damage and defense on a single character. Vital Weapon, a staple of Ritualist builds, took a light shot to duration because it so easily enables many other Ritualist skills.

Paragon

  • Awe: decreased recharge time to 10 seconds.
  • Signet of Aggression: increased the strikes of adrenaline you gain to 2; decreased recharge time to 5 seconds.
The Paragon remains largely untouched, although we did boost a couple underused Skills.

Heroes' Ascent Changes

After monitoring the impact of last week's update on Heroes' Ascent and reading player feedback, we are adjusting some maps. Map changes take time to implement and test; so they will not be ready this week. We aim to increase the playable space in Fetid River and smooth out the height advantage around the river. We are also changing Forgotten Shrines by removing the middle path and altering the area around each point. This will encourage more of a tactical choice about which points you can capture, and reduce the chaos of a more open map layout. Overall, we feel that the last update improved Heroes' Ascent and we plan to continue in this vein. We understand that the Relic gametype in the Hall of Heroes needs adjustment and that a lot of people miss Sacred Temples. We will evaluate these and other changes for future updates. Once again, we appreciate the feedback.

Victory or Death

  • Victory or Death now occurs at 18 minutes.
  • The Guild Lord now walks to the flag stand at 20 minutes.
  • The Guild Lord no longer deals 300% damage to non-Guild Lord NPCs.
  • Guild Battle NPCs now deal 300% 200% damage to Guild Lords.
  • Guild Battle NPCs now march out in three waves. The first wave arrives at the stand at 18:45, the second wave arrives at 19:00, and the third wave (Bodyguards and Knights) arrives at 19:15.

The long-awaited VoD adjustments are ready for testing. The focus of these changes is to emphasize the NPC resource and to reward fluid tactics (such as splitting) and NPC advantage at VoD. We also ensured NPCs won't bunch up at gates during VoD, and cleaned up their pathing and placement—making them harder to annihilate with simple area-of-effect attacks. The additional deadliness to the Guild Lord at the flag stand should mean that NPCs become a valuable resource again.

Updated 9 August 2007 6:22 PM Pacific time

Additional Skill Balance Updates -- 10 August 2007

We will be evaluating the following Skill changes over the course of the next week. Additional adjustments may be made during that time period.

Dervish

Necromancer

  • Reckless Haste: increased Energy cost to 15; increased duration to 6..12 seconds; increased recharge time to 12 seconds.

Ritualist

Warrior


[Dev Update] Heroes' Ascent Test Week -- 02 August 2007

As today's news post reported: "As part of our continuing practice of reviewing and refreshing PvP gameplay mechanics, we're launching another test week featuring changes to the Heroes' Ascent area. We'll be looking for your feedback about the HA changes after they roll out this week and as always will give them full consideration in subsequent potential updates and revisions."

Here are details of what will be changed for this play-balance test week:

Added Changes for Test Week -- 03 August 2007

  • Reduced the time on the Antechamber and Forgotten Shrines from 10 minutes to 6 minutes.
  • When a team in the Antechamber or Forgotten Shrines has scored 20 points more than its opponent, the game ends and the high-scoring team wins.
  • Players can now only bring a maximum of 2 non-human (Hero or henchmen) players into Heroes' Ascent maps.


[Dev Update] GW:EN Skill Trials -- 20 July 2007

As we move toward release of Guild Wars: Eye of the North, we would like to give players a preview of the skills in the expansion pack, and at the same time, invite you to share your thoughts on the design and potential balance of those new skills. We will post the full list of skills on a skills list page with statistics and key features in their preliminary form. We want to invite you to share your comments either via the fan forums or via the wiki discussion page for each skill. Our community team members will be gathering feedback on forums in English, French, and German, and we would be delighted if comments in other languages are gathered and shared via those forums, as well.

In the next week or so, we'll roll a second pass on the skills, and we hope that you will give us your thoughts again at that time.

Please see this page for the first preview of GW:EN skills.


Contents List: GW:EN Retail Package

Players have asked about the contents of the retail version of Guild Wars: Eye of the North. The box contains the following items:

  • Guild Wars Client DVD
  • Access Key Booklet
  • 16-page Mini Manual
  • Map Poster (11 in x 17 in NA; 600 mm x 360 mm Europe)


Clarification of E3 Messaging

During the E3 presentations in Los Angeles, a lot of great information was shared, but a few errors were made regarding features and elements of Guild Wars: Eye of the North and Guild Wars 2.

We know that players love new information about the game, but we want to make sure that what you have is as accurate as possible. Therefore, here are some clarifications for you:

  • Dwarves are not a playable race in Guild Wars 2.
  • The Tarnished Coast is located on the coastal area south of the Maguuma Jungle; it is not at all connected with the Kingdom of Orr, which sank into the sea long ago. The idea that Orr may someday rise from the depths is interesting, but nothing like that happens in GW:EN.
  • There are no pit traps in GW:EN.
  • Players can unlock all missions and all areas, regardless of their reputation with the other races.
  • There are many ways to improve your reputation with the Norn, Dwarves, Ebon Vanguard, and Asura. Mini-games are one way to gain reputation, but there are several additional ways for you to gain reputation.
  • You do not control golems directly, but you can direct them to some degree.


Contents List: GW:EN Prerelease Bonus Pack

Players have asked us for information about the Prerelease Bonus Pack for Guild Wars: Eye of the North. We are happy to provide the list of contents, which will apply to purchases made through the Guild Wars In-Game Store as well as those made through a retail store:

Access

Access is provided to the following:

  • The Guild Wars: Eye of the North Sneak Peek Weekend (details to follow)
  • 10-hour/14-day trial access to all three Guild Wars campaigns

In-Game Items

Each player who purchases a Prerelease Bonus Pack will receive the following special items:

Notes

  • A Prerelease Bonus Pack Access Key cannot be used to create a new Guild Wars account.
  • The special items associated with the Prerelease Bonus Pack can be activated by typing /bonus into the chat window once the player enters the game. The items are available immediately upon purchase of the Prerelease Bonus Pack.
  • Trials do not stack.
  • The retail version of the Prerelease Bonus Pack will be provided on a DVD. No DVD is required for purchases made through in the Guild Wars In-Game Store.
  • The cost of the Prerelease Bonus Pack will be deducted from the cost of the game when both are purchased in the in-game or PlayNC stores. Individual retailers set their own policies about whether the PBP is credited to the game's purchase price.
  • Purchasing the GW:EN Prerelease Bonus Pack through the in-game store does not mean that you are placing a "preorder" that then commits you to purchasing the expansion pack itself. You will not automatically be billed for GW:EN when it becomes available. You will need to go back into the In-Game or PlayNC Store and purchase GW:EN separately, because GW:EN and the Prerelease Bonus Pack are actually two different products.
  • Purchase of the Prerelease Bonus Pack is separate from the purchase of GW:EN. You may purchase either or both through the in-game store, and purchase of the Prerelease Bonus Pack does not obligate you to purchase the expansion pack through the in-game store.
  • The Prerelease Bonus Pack will be available in the in-game store until the release of Guild Wars: Eye of the North, that is, through August 31, 2007.
  • You may purchase Guild Wars: Eye of the North as of August 31, 2007 through the In-Game Store or your favorite retail store.
  • Amended and updated as of 30 July 2007.


Details: Guild Wars Bonus Mission Pack

Here are details about the Guild Wars Bonus Mission Pack Promotion:

  • If you spend $29 USD (€26/£17) or more in the Guild Wars In-Game Store, you will get a Guild Wars Bonus Mission Pack for free when it releases in November 2007.
  • All qualifying purchases must be made by a single account, and that account is the one that will receive the Bonus Mission Pack. If you have multiple accounts, you may take advantage of this offer more than once, but each account will need to qualify with the minimum purchase amount described above.
  • The Guild Wars Bonus Mission Pack is offered to those who make a qualifying purchase or purchases from July 5, 2007 through October 31, 2007.
  • The Bonus Missions will be added to the game and automatically enabled on eligible game accounts during the month of November, 2007. The missions will become a permanent part of your Guild Wars account.
  • You need to own one of the Guild Wars campaigns in order to play the Guild Wars Bonus Missions.
  • Purchases in the in-game store can be made at different times. As long as you spend a total of $29 USD (€26/£17) or more between July 5 and October 31, 2007, you will qualify for the bonus.
  • We are currently working on adding support for SMS payments to the online store.
  • Full details of the Guild Wars Bonus Mission Pack offer may be found on the official website, on this page.
Updated 30 July 2007


Latency (Lag) Issues -- 01 July 2007; 1:00 PM Pacific Time (-7 GMT)

We wanted to let players know that we are aware that some of them have experienced latency (lag) over the last few days when playing Guild Wars. These issues appear to be nearly exclusively related to playing on or connecting through the European servers for Guild Wars. What we have learned is that there is an issue affecting many services that route through the Internet hub in Frankfurt, Germany. Some programs are not affected, but unfortunately, for some players, latency has become a factor within Guild Wars.

Our network teams report that resolving the issue is, with regrets, outside our direct control. However, the team members are tracking the matter and doing what they can to assure that it is prioritized and resolved. The network teams suggest that running a network diagnostic and submitting it with a Support ticket would help very much, as it allows them to learn and relay precisely where the bottlenecks are. You can learn about obtaining a DxDiag here. Simply attach that file to a Support ticket--please be sure to include your physical location and the server on which you are playing--and you will have helped greatly in working through this matter.

We apologize for this inconvenience and will do all that we can to assure that this problem will be resolved as quickly as possible.

Addendum 1 -- 1 July 9:30 PM Pacific (-7 GMT): The Network Team has just sent word that the issue is broader than once believed, and they're focusing on a previously-scheduled maintenance in the system that manages the hand-off between the core Internet switch and ArenaNet's infrastructure that connects Guild Wars hardware. This maintenance had already been scheduled for tomorrow night, but it's now hoped that beyond the original objectives of the maintenance, it will also assist in clearing up the current latency problem. I will post as/when we have more information.

Addendum 2 -- 2 July 10:30 PM Pacific (-7 GMT): Our network team reports that today's scheduled maintenance went as planned and so far, all looks well. There are some configuration and compatibility matters that are now full aligned, and the stability for about the last hour has been solid. The logs they were getting from earlier errors are not reoccurring, which is a positive sign that the maintenance fixed the issues.

If any European player has comments or experience reports since the maintenance was complete, I'd be delighted to pass them along to the network team. Thank you again for your patience while we worked to resolve this issue.

Addendum 3 -- 7 July 4:00 PM Pacific (-7 GMT): The network teams are continuing to work on the latency/lag problem. I'm seeing emails pass by every few hours, and there are at least 50 people receiving these mails, many of whom are working directly or indirectly on trying to find a fix. Support has confirmed that sending the DxDiag (mentioned in the initial post) via a support ticket would be extremely helpful. Including a tracert is good, too, for as they say, "The more information we have, the better." The reports Support previously received are assisting in a process of elimination about the causes of this issue. I'm not at all sure if this is internal, external, or a combination of both. We're aware that the same person can play in the same house, same ISP, but a different computers and experience two differing levels of latency.

The team is very sorry that this problem has lasted so long, and you can be assured that the longevity of this issue is not related to a lack of concern about it, but is directly connected to the complexity of finding out what the issue is.

Addendum 4 -- 10 July 6:00 PM Pacific (-7 GMT): The latest from the network teams is that they have implemented a work-around with some of the components involved with our external hosts. This is because the hosts state that it will be a week before they can work on the problem. Our network teams believe that if the work-around their members devised proves to be effective, then they can use the information to expedite vendor response time. So far, network feels that the work-around has been helpful for about 50% of players, but they're tracking the incoming support tickets and looking for more -diag files and tracerts to establish why the other 50% continue to have problems.

It is unclear if lag reports from a few Americans are connected to this problem. That seems unlikely since the problem is sourced in Germany, but we will look into those matters, as well, particularly if we have the needed tracerts or -diag to help us better pin down the details. Thank you for your continued patience.

Addendum 5 -- 14 July 10:00 AM Pacific (17:00 GMT): The lag issue was resolved yesterday, as reflected in the Network News page update of Friday, July 13. However, by early morning today, we started getting reports of lag incidents, and lag continues to be an issue amongst European players. We have alerted network teams on both side of the Atlantic and are working with our vendor to resolve this issue. They would be very grateful for the receipt of any tracerts or -diag files via the Support system, as the more information they have, the more clearly they can identify and resolve this problem. We are deeply sorry for the continuation of the issue and the network teams will work on this around the clock until it is resolved.

Addendum 6 -- 16 July 12:30 AM Pacific (7:30 GMT): The Network team undertook emergency maintenance measures at approximately Midnight PDT July 15 (7:00 GMT) as part of the effort to correct the lag issue. This maintenance will have disconnected each player, but he or she should have been able to reconnect within two or three minutes. We will update with more information later. Players with continuing issues are encouraged to submit or update a Support Ticket with as many details as possible. Thank you.

Addendum 7 -- 17 July 2:50 PM Pacific (21:50 GMT): Here is some very good news, which we are posting on the Network News Page of the official website: Over the course of the last week or so, an issue with a core router in Frankfurt, Germany, has resulted in latency for a significant number of Guild Wars players as well as those playing other NCsoft games. We have worked with the router vendor and they have made changes to the router that has corrected the issue. We are very grateful to the players who submitted reports and network diagnoses files to our support team, for those reports were useful in determining the cause of the problem and in helping us initiate the necessary repairs. Game service is now back to normal, and we thank all players for their patience as we resolved this issue.