Rest of the Year

July 18, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Posted in Dungeons, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, PvE | 17 Comments
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If I post here often, it’s a bad sign, it means I’m bored.

Which brings us to Arenanets plans for the rest of the year.

Cadence

Certainly there has been some major news over the past few months, most recently the change to a bi-weekly update schedule. It’s pretty impressive and seems very decidedly directed towards the weaknesses of an MMO. Typically an MMO remains stagnant between expansions or major updates. Guild Wars 2 has gone full bore, and I think quite brilliantly, into creating a steady stream of updates to keep people coming back. At the same time they’ve mentioned that although they haven’t ruled out expansions, expansions may not end up happening at all. That created a kind of mix of emotions for me. Who doesn’t like expansions? All that new content being unloaded at once, the crush of players, it’s like diving into a new game again. But I can understand the decision of course, it would be difficult to have 4 living world teams and have enough resources to be working on an expansion.

Living World

World bosses do need a fix. They’re quite easy at this point, many not properly scaling to the number of people who show up. Some are two minute affairs, and they need to be ten minutes. The full range of boss mechanics don’t even get used. Shadow Behemoth doesn’t down a single person, the Jungle Worm doesn’t hit anybody either, the Frozen Maw events are over in seconds. I’m happy with the guaranteed rare they implemented a while back, but I’d almost say there are too many bosses with that reward.

They say they’ll continue to update dungeons but, they’ve only really touched Ascalonian Catacombs so far, and to be frank, all that has done is ensure that I don’t run Ascalonian Catacombs very often. They probably should have started with the 10 minute Citadel of Flame runs anyway.

Of course new Fractals will be a boon, I’m more than happy to see 3 new fractals being implemented by the end of the year. It’s one of the few things I hear people quite bitterly explode over, that and content that they’re not interested in, instead of a new dungeon. I guess that’s what happens when you mostly play with people who only do dungeons.

As for new world events and new events in general, I can’t say I was too impressed by the Flame & Frost events, or the new events in Southsun. Southsun in particular has events that run far too often, and were not integrated with previously existing content like Guild Rushes, creating a fairly annoying issue with completing events before starting a Rush, and then having to complete those events a couple more times before the Rush is over. In any case I don’t think people are looking for more events as far as content goes, not unless it provides some insight into lore, has a particularly fun mechanic, or fills some gap. I doubt players are eager to see more skritt burglar or Modus Sceleris events (should there be achievements for Modus Sceleris like there are for skritt burglar?) when I don’t think most people realize that update even happened.

As for world events, I do admit I have some fantasy of a fully underwater zone (despite most peoples unjustified hatred of underwater combat) with the main focus of the zone being some kind of world sea monster. I just hope that any new world boss keeps in mind the problems discussed above.

Traits and Skills

This is one of the things I’ve been meaning to post about, at least as far as new weapons for various professions go. Mace for engineer is one that is thrown around a lot, though I tend to think the Tool Kit is exactly the functionality that a mace on engineer would have. There is a fair amount of room to maneuver for some professions as far as weapons go, but what I’m really looking forward to are more utility skills. Guardian and mesmer have proven themselves to be immensely useful in dungeons, not necessarily due to DPS.

Traits of course have extensive potential, I just hope new traits don’t end up all being along the lines of “recharge times are reduced by 20%”. While those traits are useful, trait lines are already flush with these options. I’d be interested in more unique abilities.

Mini-rant.

I was listening to some guy talk about his sense of progression in Guild Wars 2 the other day and how, after he had unlocked all his weapon skills by level 15, he felt “done” with the game. I guess I can’t comprehend that statement. You’ve barely started unlocking traits by that point, you have crappy gear, you have zero utility skills unlocked. Makes no sense. And then there are all the people who talk about how Guild Wars 2 doesn’t have build variety but don’t seem to acknowledge the vast differences that combining traits, weapons, and stats can contribute to builds. Moving on.

Rewards

Rewards were one of the biggest problems with the game from launch. A lack of them, to be precise. That’s certainly changed with more and more being added to the game, meta event bonus chests, laurels, guild commendations, achievement chests etc. I’m still not happy with random number generator gem shop items, I’m still not happy with the extreme rarity of certain drops, but we’re a long way from launch, and they’re still working on improving things. So champion rewards seem pretty good to me. A lot of people will be unhappy that they can’t put on gold find and farm dungeons to make money, and I imagine WvW players are scratching their heads about getting account bound crafting materials as a reward, but I’ll jump at the chance for more lodestones, more cash for different dungeon paths, and more unique skins.

Magic Find

As for the changes to Magic Find, I really think Arenanet is just caving to a vocal minority here. It’s been my opinion that most of the people complaining about magic find were unaffected by it. That said I admit that the change is in line with Arenanets overall philosophy, but there remains a problem. Rewards are better in Guild Wars 2 at this point but drop rates are not.

As an addendum, I have gear that ultimately gives me around 220% magic find. The possibility that that will become worthless is not appealing to me.

Account magic find, experince boost, karma, and gold find is a fair enough replacement, but I’m not looking forward to the inevitable insanely poor drop rate for these consumable items from blues and greens for a measly 1% boost. Ugh. That’s conjecture of course but, I’m confident enough in that assumption.

Crafting Ascended Gear

“Don’t worry folks, we won’t create a gear grind! Excuse me while I go create a gear grind.” The thing is I’m not super unhappy about this. I’m just noting that sometimes there is a disparity between what is said and what is done. I’ll be more than happy to start crafting to 500 and making ascended gear. One thing I’m not real happy about is any kind of time gating. Nobody is asking for time gating. Isn’t the consumption of lower tier materials to create higher tier materials enough to keep the economy healthy that we don’t need some arbitrary gate to hold us back? Celestial gear, which you can now get through crafting thanks to the Labynthine Cliffs update, seems to be the test phase for time gating. You have to “charge” 25 quartz crystals at a place of power (channeled skill point location) to get a charged quartz crystal. Once a day. With some dozens of these charged crystals required, and all charged quartz being account bound, it is (and I don’t feel unjustified in saying this) a complete atrocity of grinding.

I suppose I support efforts to give crafters the ability to have a crafting economy, but I’m quite unsure about the implementation so far.

I’m really genuinely happy about most of the news about legendaries. Legendary gear, a way to get precursors that isn’t hoarding hundreds of gold, changing the stats on legendaries at whim, and new legendary weapons. I’ll probably be dual wielding legendary pistols by the end of the year. Unless it’s a massive grind or something crazy, but Arenanet would never do that right?

Overall

And then of course there is all the other news, rumours about new WvW maps, Orbs coming back, PvP solo ratings, new map types (which I guess isn’t new game types which is what everyone wants) and lots of new tutorials… yay? I’m pretty excited about all the new changes, obviously I have some reservations, but at least the game is moving forward. A lot of MMOs begin to stagnate within months of launch and Guild Wars 2 for all appearances is going strong.

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17 Comments

  1. How is something grinding if you can only do it once? It’s the exact opposite imho, you do this once (and if you show dedication to repeat this short activity daily, then you’ll be rewarded for it). It’s not like you go out there, collect rare stuff for 2 hours (repeating the same boring activity again and again is grinding for me) and then you’ll get the item.

    • Don’t you fret now monsieur maarius, i find the time gating a grind because that means you have to log in every day over a long period of time instead of just getting it done right then and there. If that is what you’re referring to.

  2. Magicfind in the current form is bad (among other reasons) because you are forced to play with a specific stat-combo when you want better drops. This pretty much defeats the variety of options you’d have without magicfind.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about what happens to your current set, since Colin stated “Our goal will be to have as little disruption as possible to those who currently own items with a magic find stat on them.” As Legendaries get free adjustable stat-combos, maybe you’ll be able to do this once with your magicfind-set… who knows.

    • It’s bad but the impact, IMO is very low.

  3. and one more thing: I’d be happy to see more events in the game, but also a system (like expeditions) which brings us to random starting event chains in the game. Imagine a guy in a city hires people for an adventure. You go with him through a mini-portal and arrive at the border of a certain zone. Now you follow him to a certain area and when you arrive a big event chain starts from chain1.

    Some of these expeditions could lead to the big Metaevents too. Perhaps the Pirate-Meta who few know about. As a few people would see the expedition-event-marker in the city you wouldn’t be alone. And those expeditions could run every 10 minutes.

  4. Um, this post seemed poor and lacking in good opinion ;/

    • No you!

  5. To me they continue to bring back what was missing from GW1. I of course am happy with all of it! I just don’t understand why it was missing in the first place. Unlocking skills, check. bringing back unique green drops for monsters, check. pvp solo stuff check (and about dam time, also give me deathmatch too please… so I can learn to fight as a team before I have to worry about other stuff)

    I don’t mind them essentially making me do a legendary (read ascended) piece for everything I wear eventually. It forces everyone to focus on particular parts of the game and we can all pretend its new and popular unlike the rest of the game which is full of same same content in pretty locations.

    I too miss an expansion, I want new land. For me its the new land I want with the time put in to make it a great event filled unique experience. I bet they see that in the play time too, if they make a new land they get more playtime.

    I also am more happy with the lore of late, which is a good improvement on whats been happening before. Don’t get me wrong though, to me this is the worst part of GW2 still. It’s all still too happy go lucky, cracking jokes and laughing at misfortune. I need something to feel for, something to want to push for or will to win. It was a very strong feeling in GW1, none of it here in GW2. This needs the biggest improvement for me. Right now, the only way they make me play is a reward, and it feels superficial, consumerism grinding.

    I am not sure how you can say there’s no grinding and you only ever do anything once in this game. I am sorry but every update has had grind, and masses of it. How many kites did I have to do, how many games of running did I have to do, how many x. It’s all right there in the achievement panel for you to be required to do. I didn’t set those values, so some people are going to think they are easy to others – like me – the numbers are far in excess of the number of times I want to do any of it. BTW, hiding kites at the end of old content – that’s making me do something again – grinding…

    GW1, I saved the world, got a green. For that I did 15 odd missions, all different, all exciting with their own lore and story ( I was happy to do it again for each profession as each played differently!). Those greens meant something to me. In GW2, we have learnt to hang around the start of a “chain”, and we get a bit of the same thing. I am not sure being able to do a “chain” all together, instead of 5 at a time whenever we want has been worth the trade off in story and lore. Missions I would add are way more varied than event chains have proven to be; and GW1 before the expansion had more missions too.

    In GW2 my loot I can buy it, or I can get it dropped randomly, means nothing to me but I was lucky, and it has to look cool. I am far prouder of my fugly greens in gw1 than anything I’ve made in gw2 – and that would include a legendary weapon if its grind wasn’t more than anything I’ve ever seen in any game.

    I am glad to see it improving, but its still got a long long way to go. Keep up the good work. Oh, btw, announce another book soon too please!

    At this stage, I’d still happily abandon this game for something new and shinier. GW1 defended itself from some awesome titles.

    At some stage they’ll run out of time. I am more sad that it’s taken this long to get one, than happy it’s defended itself.

    • Just to clarify I said, in this post, that the grinding is an atrocity. But yeah, glad we agree on a bunch of thigns there.

  6. Hunter, I enjoyed reading your summary of the upcoming changes. I think its too little and too late for me and my guild.

    Most of my 120 person guild has left GW2. Many of us have played together for 9-10 years and we like GW2. So why would we leave? We’ve talked about this among ourselves a lot and there are some broad general conclusions:

    1) Group content, difficult group content….is lacking. We’ve done all the dungeons and all the paths in the dungeons multiple times (some of us have 1800 hours in the game.) World bosses are trivial and worthless. Fighting champions is not usually worth the effort. Many of us got legendary weapons, but that is a solo effort. Fractals were fun, but one can only do them so many times.
    2) Where is the terror? Its rare to die while soloing and what should we do as a group or as a guild in the open world? We unlocked and did most of the guild missions, but for the huge majority of the missions doing them just takes time, not skill.
    3) Give us some difficult goals, Give us some quest lines that require a guild effort. Make us play together, not solo. Give us something that requires skill and effort. It’s just not there.
    4) WvWvW We did it for several months and people kept asking “Why”..
    5) sPvP too little, too late

    So how would I “fix” GW2…it does so much correctly and yet it lacks “something”. I’d start by making ONE zone really group friendly and solo unfriendly. Make the Orr events really hard and reward them appropriately. Bring terror back into the game. If one is doing zone completion, lets not just make it a trivial solo adventure, lets make it harder. Its an MMO, not a solo game. Make guilds matter.

    I think its too late for us and GW2, despite the upcoming changes. It is too bad, because all of us really wanted to play it for years.

    Onward to FF or Elder Scrolls or Wildstar or EQ Next……

    • To be honest I don’t like the phrase “too little, too late” in relation to guild wars 2. That’s kind of the subscription mmo mentality. If you’re bored with guild wars 2, there’s nothing wrong with that, move on, I’m not, and I look forward to future improvements.

      • The strange thing about “too little, too late” is that I am sure older players are returning to play GW2, just for see the temporary content. And new players are coming too, for see the temporary content, it is not all games that update each 2 weeks.

  7. I certainly will get all my 8 crafting professions to skill 500 if that make possible I craft a precursor…

    • Yeah i’ll probably be getting to 500 for another legendary and ascended gear.

      • I ahve 5 alts, I want at least ONE legendary for each one. No csucess until now with teh mystic toilet, however.

        So, crafting the precursor is a good option.

  8. I’m not as positive as you about all this. I think ANet are finding their feet and starting to work to a vaguely coherent plan, which is good. It just doesn’t happen to be a plan that appeals much to me.

    It’s very interesting to see content drops coming this fast. Far from feeling like a “living world” (which plenty of other MMOs I’ve played did and do) it feels like just what they compare it to – a television show where you get a new episode on a regular schedule. I haven’t watched tv for fifteen years and have no plans ever to watch it again. I stopped watching it when I began playing MMOs. Having MMOs replicate the exact kind of entertainment experience I came to them to get away from is hardly what I expected or wanted.

    That said, I’m still playing more GW2 than anything and probably will go on doing so for a good while yet. WvW has never been better and I never tire of leveling up more characters.

    • The stuff I’m not positive about is that they didn’t mention any major plans about major content. They’re apparently working on raid content, but didn’t touch on it, apparently working on new wvw maps, but didn’t mention it. They’re of course working on plenty of living world content, but didn’t mention any of it.


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