Arenanet has announced that they are halting all active development on Guild Wars 1, their eight-year-old MMO, in order to focus on Guild Wars 2. Now all development on Guild Wars 1 will be handed to an automated process, which will focus on bug and performance issues.
According to Arenanet’s official post on the matter, “the Live Team will still be around to perform critical fixes for crashes or other serious issues.” However, this new automation system means significant changes are coming to weekend events, festival content, and birthday presents.
Weekend events will run a full week, instead of only three days. This means that players looking to earn all their Hall of Monuments points will no longer be constrained to playing only on weekends. Festival content will now award redeemable tokens instead of prizes, so players can round out their collections with items they might have missed. Finally, birthday presents will consist of redeemable tokens in lieu of minis, along the same lines as festival prizes.
PvP also sees a minor change. Automated Tournaments will now have automatic map rotation, the goal being to improve the timeliness of the process.
Arenanet is confident that these changes will “enable the game to be enjoyed for years to come.”