Rewarding Failure

March 25, 2014 at 12:52 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, PvE | 7 Comments
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It’s clear I don’t think rewards are in a particularly good place in Guild Wars 2. I don’t like the limitations on dungeons. I don’t like what you get from dungeons. I don’t like the constant flow of blues and greens. I don’t like super rare items. For some of these I can understand why they exist, for others it’s just a mystery.


I’ll start with dungeons which are a strange mix of pointless and useful. I think the way dungeons are now would have been fine at launch. They encourage you to try different paths, slowly give tokens towards outfitting your characters with exotics, and allow you to make money through blues, greens, and gold. Ascalonian Catacombs to some is the preferred method of making money.

Unfortunately now that we’re well over a year into the life cycle of the game, everyone has exotics, everyone has multiple ways to get exotics, and nobody feels rewarded when they open a chest and get 3 blues.

I think the best way to improve rewards in dungeons would be ensure a better chance at drops from anything that takes a significant amount of time to fight such as veterans and elites, since they rarely drop anything.

Another improvement would be to change the Slayer sigils so that they actually have a use outside of one particular type of mob. I would love to see statistics on just how few people use Slayer sigils, right down there with those 26 charge ones.

Aetherpath is the only dungeon path in the game that actually drops armour pieces from the chests. I think that should be in every dungeon. I also think the Aetherized Nightmare skins should drop, rarely, from every path in Twilight Arbor, their extreme rarity is completely unnecessary.

Oh and why not change soulbound runes in dungeons to account bound runes. I can’t tell you how useless it is to get soulbound superior runes on a character that has no use for them.


Which brings me to rarity. I just don’t see the point. I guess what Arenanet is thinking is that items that only a few people possess have a lot of prestige and they want that prestige level in the game. But to me these items serve as nothing more than methods for rich players to game the economy by buying up the small supply and slowly unloading inventory at a much higher price.

I’d like to see extreme rarity brought into a much better place where the average person has a chance of getting something good. Crazy, I know. My whacky ideas are so left field. You want to reward players better? Give them something.


Why are ascended rings the only possible ascended reward you get from fractals? Why not acessories, why not amulets? Sure you can save up for a backpack, fine, but there should be multiple ways to get amulets and there isn’t, and there should be more than 2 ways to get earrings and there isn’t. The obvious solution is fractals isn’t it?

I guess the idea is to add importance to doing guild missions and doing dailies. But repetitive behaviour is not what people are looking for. We get bored. We should be able to strive towards these things in multiple ways.


Just plain making things available to WvW players would probably be a great start.


At launch Orr was in a pretty good place, particularly Cursed Shore. Aside from mob density, problems were few. People ran the Plinx event, people ran the penitent, shelter, jofast events, or events in the Arah area. But Plinx was nerfed, the broodmother moved, and Penitent/Shelter/Jofast is punishing if a significant number of people show up. The only thing people do in Orr anymore are the temple chains. Improvement right?

I think if you want level 80 characters to have level 80 things to do you need to have level 80 rewards that you can’t get from the champ train in Queensdale. The obvious solution to me is to take the Orrian Jewelry Boxes and give them as a reward at the end of Orr events. It’s not like anybody is buying them unless the daily is Karma Spender.

We’ve got a region specific reward that requires no effort to get. Just walk up to an NPC and double click. Let’s do something else with it.

Living Story

Putting aside the idea that they’re going to retire some of their rewards, and putting aside the extreme rarity of some of the rewards, I think they’ve been doing okay, but there is room for improvement.

For instance if we look most recently at Blade Shards, a completely new item developed for Battle for Lion’s Arch that dropped quite a bit. Aside from the backpieces, admittedly a good reward as they remain one of the cheapest ways to get an exotic or ascended backpiece (provided you have your crafting at 500), there has been no other use for them. They are account bound with no sale value. I’m not sure why they couldn’t have been traded in much like Found Belongings or Found Heirlooms. Which kind of raises the question of why there were 3 separate account bound items with zero sale value during the event. Of course we have been promised an NPC that will exchange goods for the blade shards but, the event ended last week. Kind of late.

I guess what I’d like to see change with rewards as in regards to Living Story is more long term goals, reward currencies that can be used for months after they are introduced instead of 2 weeks or a month, and a larger variety of rewards that stray away from tonics, minis, and backpiece skins.

I’d also like to see them be more consistent. They introduced watchwork sprockets, and then gave us a watchwork sprocket node if you finished the meta achievements, but there is still no azurite node, and there is no way to obtain azurite orbs aside from the few remaining on the auction house.

I guess I’d like to see this remedied with a new zone where, instead of co-opting a currently existing zone, Arenanet could have their living story events, introduce new gathering nodes and new mobs, new NPCs that permanently sell new crafting recipes, tell new stories, have new places to explore. Using the existing world is fine, I enjoy that too, but a new zone would make a lot of sense for introducing these things.


Of all the skin sets released since launch, only one has not been from the gem store. It is the ascended armour and requires quite an investment compared to most other skin sets. I’d like to see more armour sets that are not apart of the gem store. By no means do they have to stop making money or stop selling armour in the store, but something to work towards in game would be so much more rewarding.

Why not introduce each piece as the months go on. Arenanet could begin with the backpieces they love so much, and in the next release a helm, and then gloves, and then boots, until finally a full set of armour through the Living Story. This would tie in nicely with a more permanent Living Story currency, and people could slowly build their set or get it all at once at the end of Season 2. Ideally.

A lot of people are calling for profession based armour skins, geared more specifically to each profession. I am not against this idea, I find it enticing, but I also doubt the manpower would ever be put towards 8 entirely new sets on 5 different races. Especially outside the gem store.

Anyway. Those are my humble thoughts on improving rewards and Guild Wars 2 in general going forward. What do you guys think?



  1. It is noticeable that most ideas for “improving” rewards come down to offering more of them, which then leads to people getting them quicker and not having anything to aspire to. Rewards were a problem with GW2 from the start as Arenanet fell into the trap of giving everyone everything very easily almost from the start, with the exception of a few cosmetic items that required extreme grind. And they made all the lower levels of armor obsolete at a stroke.

    From what you say it looks like the situation hasn’t improved that much and in the end the only real solution, for this type of MMO, is to do what Wow does and constantly obsolete the different levels of weapons/armor. Anyway nothing I hear makes me want to return to GW2, as I did with LOTRO & GW1, which is a pity as in many ways it has some neat ideas.

    • yeah exotics were easy to get, but top level armour was never supposed to be the reward in guild wars 2, and I’m not really looking for it to be. cosmetic, aesthetic, convenience, that’s what i’m looking for.

  2. One option for rewards, that’s not money based is to give me some story. One basic way of doing this, is to straight out copy wow. Reputation.

    Admit that it’s an mmo, and despite making content faster than anyone else, people still don’t feel like they are getting enough. Add the grind.

    Of course hide it behind doing stuff for a particular faction, I am sure that wouldn’t qualify as grind to Anet now days.

    Hopefully I could get my gods backs, one reason for me doing stuff in gw1. Or defending humankind from the char… Right now, I have no reason to do anything unless you pay me. I know the zerg behind me, and the next patch is going to fix it all up. It rolls on without me, some unknown “hero”.

    Perhaps we could enter our profession in, how many kids we have, and how often we intend to play and then scale everything. When I log in my once a week, I can get a precursor in the mail for managing to log in. Anet could personally call me if I log in again the next day to congratulate me?

    Or maybe this can just be a game where I potter around fields killing stuff, defending points and resurrecting npcs. Hoping for a few different maps at some point with some more events than the simple ones Ive noticed so far. Perhaps making my character fight for a particular side, rather than just some temporary bad dude, and for all the good guys who have no particular detail in them in case I want to play some other good guys race.

    • Reputation doesn’t seem like story to me.

  3. […] Hunter’s Insight — Rewarding Failure. “It’s clear I don’t think rewards are in a particularly good place in Guild Wars 2. I don’t like the limitations on dungeons. I don’t like what you get from dungeons. I don’t like the constant flow of blues and greens. I don’t like super rare items. For some of these I can understand why they exist, for others it’s just a mystery.” […]

  4. I dunno, with so many means of acquiring ascended jewels already, especially relative to all other ascended gear, I’m worried for the future of jewelcrafting. Not so much as a whisper about extending it to 500.I think ascended weapons and especially armor need more opportunities to drop. I think it’s unreal that it’s not enough to get a recipe for a certain insignia but that you have to get stat specific recipes for the other components, too.

    Melski, GW1 Factions (it’s even in the name) already did what you are suggesting so they wouldn’t be copying WoW so much as revisiting something they did in the original.

    • I think I meant to write about jewelcrafting at some point, specifically that the normal stat sets could be added to jewelcrafting instead of the strange stat sets you get from ascended jewelry, hopefully they do this. Doesn’t seem like its a priority for them though.

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