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Guild Wars 2 devs have “ideas” for building dynamic difficulty settings

"Our players are generally always better at the game than we are"

Guild Wars 2 faces the same problem every big, ongoing game does – different players want different sorts of things from it. Additional difficulty options to make raids easier for story-focused players are on the proverbial table, and it seems the developers are experimenting with more tailored options in building the challenges for future content.

“We also have some innovative ideas about how we could modify the difficulty based on how the players perform against the challenges we present,” lead designer Heather Conover tells us, “but we haven’t fully determined if we will try this new idea out just yet.” Plenty of games make use of dynamic difficulty – many of them never tell you they’re doing it, either – but this would certainly mark a nonstandard solution to the problem of MMO difficulty.

There’s no guarantee that this experiment will ever hit the game, but the developers are looking at the usual means of keeping game modes balanced heading into the Icebrood Saga “We aim to have a breadth of difficulty levels with the content we release,” Conover says, “and we anticipate making modifications to the difficulty based on player feedback and data.”

Amusingly, Conover adds that “One of the hardest parts of balancing PvE content is assessing how the difficulty compares to the skill of our players; our players are generally always better at the game than we are.” That fits in with what game director Mike Zadorojny tells us about the skill gap, where top players are doing ten times more damage than the average.

You can find more on Guild Wars 2’s PvP, raids, and world restructuring in our interview with Zadorojny over the future of the game. Our full Icebrood Saga Q&A with Conover and other members of the Guild Wars 2 team will go live later this week.