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Our Studio Design Director Chris Whiteside just posted this:
“I’d like to respond to concerns players have raised about ascended items. Please keep in mind that we’re releasing this as one portion of a massive November update that introduces and improves many aspects of challenge, progression, and rewards. With this and upcoming updates, we view ourselves as introducing large amounts of content with supporting systems and features, akin to an expansion pack, building on Guild Wars 2 through a series of live releases. So it’s important for us to be able to add an expansion pack’s worth of progression and rewards to support that content.
Our goal is not to create a gear treadmill. Our goal is to ensure we have a proper progression for players from exotic up to legendary without a massive jump in reward between the two. We will slowly add the remaining ascended gear items and legendary items in future updates to allow people time to acquire them as we add exciting new content that deserves exciting rewards. We will not be adding a new tier of gear every 3 months that we expect everyone to chase after and then get the next set and so on.
Ascended and infusion rewards will be available in both PvE and WvW over time, and be made available through all sorts of content around the world including existing content. PvP will remain unaffected to ensure our intended PvP balance going forward. We are also working on other reward and progression systems for the game that tie into current and new content and features. As you know we care very much about your support and opinion and are listening intently to what you say.
Finally we look forward to hearing your thoughts on the upcoming content, and we will ensure we share our thoughts with you on the experiences we share in the Lost Shores."
Chris Whiteside – Studio Design Director