Video: WoodenPotatoes

All of this has taken quite a bit of work outside of Clarke-Willson and Freist’s official roles at ArenaNet. And while they’ve had aid from the studio on things like QA testing, Freist has taken to touching up Guild Wars in his spare time, as well.


“Since working on the initial lag bug, I’ve probably put in 30 hours of programming time,” he said, noting that he’s worked on some fixes on and off for months. “There’s love for the game all over the studio and I’ve had several people personally thank me and want to chip in to give me advice or help making improvements. I took the initiative to do it because of my love for the game and the community.”

While the state of Guild Wars’ development tools will make it exceedingly difficult to craft new content for the game, Clarke-Willson and Freist have plenty of plans for the future. Next, Clarke-Willson wants to clean up bots and spam, an issue he’s still kicking around ideas about how to handle.


“I could make it so ‘click to move’ at large distances isn’t very accurate,” he said, giving an example of an idea for bot cleanup that he ultimately rejected. “A person wouldn’t care–if they are not where they want to be, they would just click to move again. A bot... well, a bot might get confused, because at least right now, they expect accurate behavior.”


The broader goal for both Clarke-Willson and Freist is to keep the game enjoyable for as long as possible. Guild Wars, they believe, is uniquely well-positioned to withstand the test of time even though it’s an MMO.

“All of the services involved were designed to stay running… forever,” said Freist. “Even when we run releases, the game keeps the old build around and just fires up the new build and carries on. Even when things crash, they just start themselves back up and resume what they were doing. I can’t speak directly for other games, but if they plan on shipping a game in the MMO genre, I hope they are thinking long-term and low-maintenance.”