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Guild Wars 2 Season 1 “is always on our mind,” but it was built to “fire and forget”

Tech challenges make it real hard for Season One to return

One of the defining features of Guild Wars 2 is its Living World narrative, which takes shape over in-game events that hit over the course of weeks and months. The system has been influential enough that even Destiny 2 is talking about its own “evolving world,” but the Living World has left one major thing behind: Guild Wars 2’s own first season.

Unlike the seasons that have followed, players have no way to go back and play through Season One content. “We continually have conversations about how best we can bring it back,” game director Mike Zadorojny tells us. “Unfortunately, because of the way that we did build it – it was fire and forget – that meant that as one team shipped something, another would come in and overwrite all of those changes.”

That means it’s a lot easier said than done when it comes to reactivating Season One. “Untangling that web is a little bit harder than just saying ‘and now the content is active.’ If we’re gonna bring it back – and I would love to bring it back – it means doing something in a meaningful way,” Zadorojny says.

With the kind of development work bringing back Season One would entail, ArenaNet would want it to be more than just a nostalgia grab. “If we just bring it back, the new guard of players will get something new out of it, the old guard will be like ‘okay, there’s the nostalgia.’ And either it’s going to live up to their expectations, or rose-coloured glasses are going to say, ‘Man, this was amazing back then. But this is garbage now, and we haven’t changed anything.’”

You’ll see the spirit of that old content live on, at least. Zadorojny says “Season One is always on our mind, because there’s a lot of really cool stuff in there. Some of the things you will see moving forward are that the designers are drawing inspiration from some of the cool things in Season One.”

For much more on the future of Guild Wars 2 – including PvP, raids, and world restructuring – you can follow that link to see our full interview with Zadorojny.