The announcement that Guild Wars 2 would be adding a new item type called Ascended in this weekend’s Lost Shore patch has created quite a stir in the community.  That’s actually understating it a bit.  Folks are freaking out!  The Ascended items will sport slightly better stats than the current top Exotic items, which is causing players to jump to the conclusion that there will be a gear treadmill in place.  The feedback from fans has been so feverish that a thread on the official forums has reached over 7000 replies and 70,000 views!

ArenaNet’s Studio Design Director, Chris Whiteside, went to the forums last night in an attempt to convince fans to put away the torches and pitchforks and talk about things like rational adults.  He explains that they view large updates—like the Lost Shores—as expansion packs and therefore want to provide ample progression to support that content.

He then clarifies their intent by stating, “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.”

One of the major concerns is that Ascended items are only obtained through the new Fractals of the Mists dungeon coming this weekend.  Players who hate dungeons or are only interested in World vs. World would feel obligated to farm the Fractals dungeon for the more powerful gear.  Mr. Whiteside assuaged these fears by stating that eventually Ascended and Infusion items will be available in both PvE and WvW and structured PvP will remain unaffected by these changes.

Check out the Chris Whiteside’s post in its entirety and then let us know what you think.  Do you feel better after reading these clarifications?  Post a comment below!