It really pains me to list guesting as a "quality of life" improvement when it was sold as such an integral part of the game's social structure, but this is really the only place to grind that particular axe. Guesting needs to be A Thing. At this point, I'd be happy if the devs'd just put a permanent overflow server on every map, but the real deal would be optimal. Guesting, in the humble opinion of yours truly, needs to be first on the list of improvements added to the game.
Others will need to follow. I have hopes for some things, like a trading post preview, an actually useful looking-for-group tool and dungeon finder, and improved search and filter functionality on the trading post. I'm sure there are a dozen or so other fairly innocuous additions that could be thrown in to make the gaming experience just a bit smoother. I'm not expecting these all in a rush in the next month or two, but it'd be nice to see them creep in over the course of the year.
ArenaNet has talked big about building Guild Wars 2 into a proper e-sports game and bringing in that sort of community, but the structured PvP side of things really doesn't seem to be ready for that level of competition quite yet. I expect this year to hold significant sPvP improvements -- custom arenas, spectator modes, and other staples -- and the sooner, the better. I dabble in sPvP (hounded, as I am, by the constant knowledge that seven of my eight characters are ever hungry for XP), but I'd really like to see the folks at ArenaNet bring Guild Wars 2 to the e-sports scene as they appear so eager to do.
I'm going to guess that it'll be a fair while before we see another one-off event as part of a monthly update. Wintersday has been exceedingly smooth and an extremely good experience in large part due to its laid-back schedule. I'm not saying that everything will be a three-week practice in indulgence, but I'm really hoping that ArenaNet takes the necessary time to make sure that future one-offs are the smooth experience they need to be. The thing is that unlike some, I'm not really opposed to the idea of one-time-only events. I think weekend things like the Lost Shores event have a chance to be really, superbly cool. They just need to be a better experience for everyone who can make it.
I briefly mentioned the January and February updates that are supposed to hold roughly an expansion's worth of content. On top of that, we've got some analysts predicting that an actual expansion will hit some time this year. I'm not sure yet whether if I'm sold on that idea. If ArenaNet's for srs about bringing out new content each month, as devs have stated several times, it may be quite some time before we see an actual expansion come out. Expansions are great because they mean money, but where would one fit into the monthly update model?
I'm kind of hoping, personally, for additional personal story-type stuff. One benefit that quests in the original Guild Wars had was the possibility of taking a story across different parts of the map, which localized hearts can't really replicate. You can get the idea, sure, of the ebb and flow of circumstances in a map or region, and events can give you a bit of a movement feel, but I'd like to see one of the bigger updates include some new personal stuff. Whether that's to help us find new stories in existing zones or to lead us into new areas, I don't really care.
While I'm making frivolous wishes, let's add this one on as well: I'd like to see more variation (that is, any variation) to the daily achievements. Monthly achievements have a pretty decent rotation, and that's something I'd like to see bleed over into the dailies.
I've got some sort of vague outline for what I want to do in-game in the upcoming year. I'll probably deviate from it a lot, but since I never have as much time as I want to, I typically find that my experience is better when I have some sort of mental roadmap.
After hitting 100% map completion just the other night, I've come upon the idea that getting a Legendary weapon some time this year might not be completely out of touch with reality. I'm not really ready to make it a goal, but I'm OK with its being a dream. My whole thing about a Legendary is that I really want one but I'm adamant about a few things: I'm only going to do stuff I enjoy to get it, I will not drive myself or my characters utterly destitute to acquire it, and I'm not going into debt to my guild or play buddies to get it. As I said, if it's something I get, so much the nicer.
I can play with the Legendary as a general guiding light. For example, I want to go ahead and finish leveling all my crafting disciplines (I've so far hit 400 on two of the eight disciplines). After that's done, I can just save all tier five and six materials without thinking about whether I have enough for both crafting and a Legendary. I'd like to finish leveling my Necromancer (she's about 60), then my Warrior (40-something), and then my Guardian (19, maybe?). The latter two will probably be done all in WvW both because I really like WvW and because I've only got about a fifth of the Badges of Honor that a Legendary requires. I'll be doing bunches of dungeon runs for armor and such, but I'll also be throwing in a handful of extra Ascalonian Catacombs runs because I've decided that the Flameseeker Prophecies is going to be my first Legendary (you've got three shots to guess why). At some point, once everyone's all leveled- and armored-up, I'll be spending a lot of time in Orr, both because Orr is fun and because I'd really rather not dump 200+ gold on acquiring the precursor shield I'll need.
Have you got any New Year's resolutions for Guild Wars 2? What are your hopes and predictions for the year?
Elisabeth Cardy is a longtime Guild Wars player, a personal friend of Rytlock Brimstone, and the writer of Flameseeker Chronicles here at Massively. The column updates on Tuesdays and keeps a close eye on Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, and anything bridging the two. Email Elisabeth at firstname.lastname@example.org.