Welcome to the Scrying Pool, my Guild Wars 2 column here on Mattsta.Ninja. This article we are going to talk about something a little different: the future~. While a lot of the times I focus on the future—with my grand ideas for fixing this or adding that—this week I wanted to focus less on the what and more on the when.
I had this idea to create a schedule of when I expected things to come out last week, but wasn’t really sure if I was actually going to release it. There is good reason why ArenaNet doesn’t put dates on their future releases as community expectation can be a call to arms when not delivered. Just look at the fractal leaderboards and backpiece that has some crazy fans claiming that not even half the expansion has been delivered.
The AMA at the end of last week changed things a little bit. Not only did it show some more openness from ArenaNet, but also put some lose scheduling that confirmed some—and changed a few—of the recent parts of the schedule I had put together. Plus ANet already has the crazy fans in an uproar so my schedule isn’t really going to hurt anything.
So without further ado, here is my estimated schedule of GW2 releases for the rest of the year. I’ll dive into the schedule more below.
- March 8:
- Raid 1 Wing 2
- March 22:
- Basic Update (Bug Fixes, etc)
- April 1: (Friday)
- April Fool’s
- April 5:
- Super Adventure Box
- April 19:
- PvP League Season 2 Ends (April 18, Monday)
- Spring Quarterly Update
- May 3:
- Basic Update (Bug Fixes, etc)
- May 17:
- PvP League Season 3
- May 31:
- Raid 1 Wing 3
- June 14:
- Living World Season 3 Episode 1
- June 28:
- Living World Season 3 Episode 2
- July 12:
- PvP League Season 3 Ends (July 11, Monday)
- Summer Quarterly Update
- July 26:
- Living World Season 3 Episode 3
- August 9:
- PvP League Season 4
- Living World Season 3 Episode 4
- August 23:
- Basic Update (Bug Fixes, etc)
- Maybe something special (Festival of the 4 Winds, Anniversary things?, etc)
- September 6:
- Raid Release #4
- September 20:
- Basic Update (Bug Fixes, etc)
- Maybe a SAB re-release (probably not include new content, just opens up again)
- October 4:
- PvP League Season 4 Ends (October 3, Monday)
- Fall Quarterly Update
- October 18:
- November 1:
- Living World Season 3 Episode 5
- November 15:
- Year 1 Pro League World Championship (approx. give or take 2 weeks, most likely a Saturday)
- Living World Season 3 Episode 6
- November 29:
- PvP League Season 5 (Year 2)
- Living World Season 3 Episode 7
- December 13:
- Raid Release #5
- January 17?:
- Living World Season 3 Episode 8
- January 23: (Monday)
- PvP League Season 5 Ends
- January 28?: (Saturday)
- PAX South Xpac 2 reveal
- February 7:
- Winter Quarterly Update
- February 21:
- PvP League Season 6
There are a few things that make a schedule like this easy to make. First is the consistency of ArenaNet to do patches every other Tuesday. If you look at my schedule, every date mentioned is every other Tuesday unless it is specifically mentioned as being on another day of the week. The other is the introduction of 8-week long PvP Leagues and the quarterly updates that take place during the gap between seasons.
The first release of note on the schedule doesn’t come until April. April 1st falls on a Friday this year, giving a nice weekend for ArenaNet to fool their community once more. The following Tuesday is a patch day and is the day I foresee us seeing the return of Super Adventure Box. Rumors have it that SAB is definitely coming back this April and it feels right to lead off the month with it. I don’t think that it would be this year’s April Fool’s however, but I am hoping that the two are related with the joke being something “trolling” the community about SAB before turning around first thing Monday and announcing that SAB actually is coming the following day.
The month of May sees the only thing that I had change after the AMA last week. Originally I had slated that Living World Season 3 would start on May 3 and consist of 12 episodes. The AMA confirmed however that the 3rd Raid Wing would come out in May or June—giving more weight to my estimated release of May 31 for the next raid wing—and moving my estimated release of Season 3 to June 14. I am confident that Living World Season 3 will start the patch right after we get the next raid wing.
The Living World then ends up similar to Season 2, with us getting a few episodes and then a break before the later half of the season. Season 2 started in July, so my estimate of it starting in June puts a longer break between the first and second halves. This time however, we have content to fill in that gap. Raids, PvP Leagues, a Quarterly Update and Halloween highlight the in between with the possibility of the Crown Pavilion opening up for the anniversary and a back to school re-release of the Super Adventure Box being added in as well. Just to reiterate the schedule, if we do get the SAB back again in September I am not expecting there to be any new content. This September SAB would just be opening the doors again. I don’t expect the fourth world in SAB to hit until 2017, letting 2016 be the year of World 3.
Living World then continues back up in November to take a Wintersday break before the last episode releases in January. This lines up perfectly for another PAX South expansion reveal at the end of January with Xpac2 coming out again in the August-October 2017 timeframe. I didn’t put this on the schedule, as this is getting too far ahead, but I also don’t think that we will have an empty gap throughout most of 2017 like we saw with HoT in 2015. Not only will we continue to have PvP Leagues and Raid releases, I think we will see a Season 3.5.
For season 3 I think we will be staying mostly in the jungle and core Tyria. There is a Dragon’s Stand explorer achievement for discovering the whole map that highlights that there are two areas of the map that we still haven’t discovered. The HoT personal story achievement New Horizons leads us to a closed door in Rata Novus that will likely lead to where we meet back up with Taimi. And that is just what I think will happen in the first half of the season. The second half of the season I think will lead us somewhere else in the jungle, opening up a new map and rewards.
A lot of speculation is pointing toward Kralkatorrik being the next Elder Dragon of note. The problem is we are still in the jungle, all the way across the game world from the desert that Kralkatorrik calls home. This is where Season 3.5 comes in. The announcement would reveal that we are indeed heading into the desert and this in between season will open up the first map in the desert, preparing us for the fight—and expansion—ahead. In this way this new map would be similar to Silverwastes is for HoT, giving an existing map to pull players into the HoT personal story.
One thing I don’t have listed anywhere on the schedule is fixes and updates to game modes. People really want that fractal backpiece apparently and the WvW community wants some love. This is all stuff that fits into those Quarterly updates. It is hard to guess everything that we will see in these updates, as who expected the Brew of the Month club in the winter quarterly. I am expecting however, that these updates will end up being like dominoes for the major areas of the game in that once a quarterly update starts updating an area, the subsequent quarterlies will continue to include updates to that area.
The Spring Quarterly I have coming out April 19 and will see the Fractal Legendary Backpiece finally be craftable. ArenaNet has said the delay for this was due to the legendary only being craftable after doing well in a new fractal leaderboard. While the delay sucks, I like that we are not going to have to go through a leaderboard to get it. In its place I think we will have challenges similar the challenge motes that were part of the precursor collections, just at much higher fractal levels this time. To that end I think we are going to see the first round of instability improvements targeting the specific fractal levels that will be needed to make the legendary backpiece. Following quarterly updates will continue to update these instabilities with my guess that the Fall Quarterly in October will bring the first new fractal. Much like the improvements to instabilities, after the Fall Quarterly I think new fractals is likely to become one of the points in upcoming quarterly releases.
Also in the Spring Quarterly I am guessing we will see the next legendaries. While they mentioned that the mace and shortbow are the two closest legendaries to be completed, I’m really only expecting one of them to be ready by the Spring Quarterly. ArenaNet said that they are going to be releasing these when they are done, which could mean a quarterly with only one legendary or a multitude within the same quarterly. After the Spring Quarterly, I am expecting things to start ramping up and we will see 2-4 legendaries each quarter.
The WvW improvements I’m not expecting in the Spring Quarterly. The first improvements I imagine will start rolling out in the Summer with WvW quickly becoming the largest section of the quarterly updates. The WvW changes sound like they are going to be big, so I think we will be seeing WvW take the main stage all the way up to Xpac2 which hopefully brings another new WvW map.
The one thing I’m hopeful for but not entirely sure it will happen is the raid releases I have listed. While the AMA did help solidify my guess of a May 31 release for Raid 1 Wing 3, I have another two raid releases listed for this year. This ends up making the time between them fairly short with the last release I have listed just barely making it into the last patch of the year. This makes the content really nice for playing over the winter holidays, but also makes it very prone to slipping into next year. Plus with the 3rd raid release finishing of the Forsaken Thicket raid, it is very possible that the 4th release will take a little longer to get released.