‘When it’s ready’ is one of the most common responses we might get from ArenaNet when asking when the game will be released. On one hand it’s a sign that they care about their product, they want to make it the best they most possibly can, but on the other hand it will might have irritated you at some point. While we were treated by a huge flow of information releases before the conventions started to go out, we’re now in a lull before the storm continues, or as Eric would say: ‘rest assured the information will flow again’.
For us at ArenaNet things can be even tougher. We like to use what we call a very iterative development process. What this means is that we try to prototype and implement systems early so that we can play with them in the game, see what’s working and then quickly make changes to see multiple iterations of a feature. In practice, this usually means that we implement a system and then have to reimplement parts of it again, sometimes even reverting to a previous version that turned out to have been the right thing all along. For particularly tricky systems or features (User Interface, I’m looking at you), this means that we need to iterate on many pieces of it, even going through a dozen or more different versions before we finally home in on the iteration that really works. On a few occasions we have had to totally throw a system out and start over from scratch.
Read the whole blogpost over at their home, it gives you a good view of how the process of creating Guild Wars 2 goes.