Print media continues its regretfully long, slow progression towards dinosaur territory, with only a handful of worthy publications still alive and kicking. Before the art form of physical media is lost to us completely, I decided it’s high time I tip my hat to one of my favorite traditions; letters from the editor.
For my inaugural offering to the larger Guild Wars 2 community, I wanted to provide you some insights on what we have brewing here in the GW2Hub lab now that we have a confirmed release date for the game. While some things will necessarily need to remain shrouded in mystery for the time being, I’m a firm believer in fan sites being pretty transparent about working with their community, rather than a self-serving platform that never factors in the opinions of the broader fan base.
So today I’d like to give you a quick rundown of what we have in store for you this month, starting with…
Exclusive Interview Series
Developer interviews are an interesting beast. I’ll admit that I’m completely spoiled by attending most major industry events where you’ll typically have direct access to key devs to discuss the game in-depth. Between events, however, things are rarely that simple.
On that note, I’d like to thank our friends over at NCsoft for working with us to bring you an exclusive interview series that will be hitting the ‘Hub beginning this week. In fact, I just finished publishing the first part of our interview with Jon Peters, so if you haven’t already done so, be sure to check it out!
Heading into next week, we also have a massive interview with Colin Johanson to share with you. If you haven’t already hit the shiny Hubscribe button to subscribe to our RSS feed, now is the perfect time so that you can watch for each of these killer interviews to go live from the comfort of your luxurious living quarters, wherever that may be.
Expanding the Scope of the Community Spotlight Series
One of my favorite things on the site currently is our Community Spotlight series. The fact of the matter is, there are a lot of passionate fans out there, but falling short of heavily moderated forums or creating their own fan sites, many of them lack a viable platform to speak their minds or share their creative efforts.
So far we’ve published some excellent articles penned by members of the community, and featured some of the top guilds that will be playing GW2 on a competitive level. I’m pleased to let you know that we’ll be expanding the series to include plenty of other great things from around the community as well.
While I can’t let the cat out of the bag on specifics just yet, some of the things you can look forward to are spotlights on some of GW2’s many great fan artists, and articles written by a few of our peers from other Guild Wars 2 fan sites. Author exchange is one of the things I’ve wanted to do for ages, and is a great way to expose gamers to some of the other great writing talent out there. Needless to say, I’m pretty excited about what we have lined up for our Community Spotlights this month!
Your Feedback Matters
In his blog post last month on the official ArenaNet site, Colin Johanson addressed the importance of player feedback in making sure they are providing the most fun experience possible. One of the tools for doing so is the use of in-game surveys that explicitly ask for your input on how much fun you’re having with certain aspects of the game.
In a similar vein, I’m currently looking for feedback on what you would like to see more of here on GuildWars2Hub. If you turn your gaze towards the GW2Hub home page, you’ll see a handy poll in the sidebar where you can cast your vote for a number of different areas. Voting only takes a second of your time, but the results of the poll will be taken to heart as we begin our build up for the GW2 launch at the end of August. Want to see more news coverage? Let us know. Want to see more videos or gameplay guides? Let us know.
Speaking of the future of the site…
GW2Hub Update 1.1
Another tradition that I’ve long felt worthy of making the jump to fan site implementation is one borrowed directly from our beloved MMOGs themselves. Much like an MMO, we’re constantly making subtle changes, fixes, and improvements to the site. Most of the time, these are minor tweaks that occur late at night when any sane person would be sleeping. You could almost think of that stuff kind of like basic hotfix patches that seamlessly stream to your game client at startup, but might not always necessitate lengthy patch notes.
But I also wanted to take that a step further by implementing larger changes to the site, kind of like a larger game update in between expansions. And, much like major MMO updates, I also thought it would be cool to keep a major theme to each update, rather than doling out a bunch of random odds and ends.
So for our first major update, we’ll be doing a pretty hefty overhaul to the graphics on the site. While this update will be mostly cosmetic, I feel that it will greatly improve the user experience in significant ways nonetheless.
Watch for Update 1.1 to be hitting the site early this month, along with a preview of the awesome work being done for Update 1.2 that will be focused wholly on providing our readers a better and broader set of tools to communicate with one another.
Meanwhile, Back in the Lab…
With a launch date finally confirmed for Guild Wars 2, you can expect to see a marked increase in daily game coverage including a whole pile of great guides for players of all experience levels, more exclusive features, and more awesome than you can shake a +10 Stick of Shaking at.
In the meantime, I’ve love to hear your thoughts on my little exercise in communication with our community. If you enjoyed this first installment of From the Editor’s Lab, let me know in the comments and I can see about making it a regular thing. Likewise, if you’re sitting there scratching your head thinking, “Sardu sure likes to ramble, but I’d rather read more about the game itself” let me know that too. Either way, your comments are always appreciated!