Consistently InconsistentJuly 23, 2015 at 12:04 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, PvE | 21 Comments
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
I’ve been thinking this post over for years, and yet it’s still hard to put into words. Arenanet is consistent in its inconsistency. That is to say that they repeatedly and frustratingly introduce things and then never touch them again, never adjust them, never support them, never standardize how to acquire an item or worst of all they only briefly make them available and they’re never seen again. They set the groundwork for something, make a show of it, and then don’t follow through. It’s a combination of neglect and lack of foresight.
Activities, dungeon revamps, guild missions, new world bosses, they come in to being and then are left to rot. If they’re not super popular they are ignored. Forget that they’re unpopular because the implementation is off, or the difficulty is weird, or the rewards are subpar. If it’s not a huge hit, move on to the next idea and pretend like nothing happened. The rewards for Guild Trek are terrible, so nobody does them, so Arenanet never touches them again. A child with ADD that is consistently moving on to the next project and forgetting the old one.
And then there’s the sloppy implementation as well. The problem stems, I think, from the experience that Arenanet wanted us all to have in that first year or two of the game. They wanted unique one-time experiences that forced players to log in because it was only available for 2 weeks, maybe a month, or one night only. We could debate the success of those updates, Living Story S1 was epic and yet so temporary, but I’d like to talk more about the legacy of incomplete features left behind.
I’ll start with the small stuff.
One example of sloppy implementation is the Superior Sigil of Generosity. A very rare drop during Wintersday 2013 so if you want one, you’ll need a time machine or 130 gold because since then it has never appeared anywhere but the trading post, the price is astronomical. I don’t think I’d even be annoyed if they would have bothered to return it in Wintersday 2014 but no such forethought. I’m not sure what happened, maybe it was overlooked, or perhaps they decided to not include it due to it being slightly overpowered, but either way it was a mistake. You don’t introduce something without a long term plan to make it available to anyone who wants to get it. If it’s OP you nerf it, if it’s a forgotten item you find some way to include it. That’s why the Superior Sigil of Bursting and the Azurite Orb annoy me. Neither has been easily available since they were introduced 2 years ago. I’d love to get my hands on either. Not feasible unless I just want to throw money at it.
Then there are celestial stats. The hoops you have to jump through for this stat set are ridiculous and yet it is a popular stat set that even Arenanet throws at you in the Beta tests. I’m not a fan of the stat but I’d probably experiment with it more if it didn’t take a month to put all the charged quartz together. Ridiculously time gated nonsense and there’s no reason for it. An exotic celestial set should not be time gated, especially where later stat sets like Sinister aren’t time gated because although they include charged quartz it is apart of charged sheets of ambrite which can simply be bought.
And the skins. I think the skins point more to neglect for me. Multiple skins have been removed from PvP including the Tribal skin set with no explanation given. How about the Decorative Molten Jetpack skin. Available only twice briefly, now selling for 3500 gold. It’s great to have goals Anet but “make a bazillion gold” is a terrible effing goal. I personally want both the Dreamthistle Greatsword skin and the Super Warhorn skin. One is unobtainable except via the trading post for 1400g because the Gem Store overlords removed the set around a year ago and I (mostly) refuse to play their filthy RNG Black Lion Chest game, and the other is unavailable except via the auction house for 1500g because Super Adventure Box hasn’t returned in, what, a year and a half?
Super Adventure Box is a whole other giant cluster… bomb. I mean I could go on about the Infinite Continue Coin, or how SAB should be regularly available especially during long dry spells of no content, but I’ll leave my complaints brief. I realize reintroducing Super Adventure Box isn’t like flipping a switch, that it would take work. And yes, they’re hard at work on an expansion, I understand that’s why we’re in such a long drought. But holy crap when was the last time it was even available? Where’s the Queen’s Jubilee right now? Where’s Dragon Bash? Where’s WvW Tournaments? Neglecting the rest of the game is getting out of hand. A redesigned Lion’s Arch is great, but it was long overdue and left me content for about a week. I was bred on bi-weekly Guild Wars 2 updates.
Dungeons in general. I’m sure the dungeon community is smaller than just about any other community in Guild Wars 2 but the amount of neglect is staggering. No new dungeon paths, no new dungeons, no improvements, no bug fixes, no dungeon team, nothing. Fractals is rumoured to be seeing an update with the expansion but it’s fairly neglected too. It took years for them to fix the terrible drop rate above level 40, the skins still come at random with no way to get the skin you want. You can’t do anything with the ungodly amount of rings you rack up if you play a lot. There have been no new fractals in some time and I don’t predict any for some time to come. I feel like the removal of the 8 dungeon vendors that were compiled into one was like the final slap in the face. We don’t have time to move your vendors around or give them a special space to indicate their prestige and unique skins so take this generic npc standing in the middle of nowhere with no indicator of who he is or where he is on the map okay bye.
Ascended jewelry crafting has reached a level of jaw dropping disbelief with me. How could this still not be introduced? The ascended crafting materials for jewelry have been in the storage panel for literally years. Left blank and empty. Sure you can get jewelry through multiple other means but half the stat sets are some LSD inspired nonsense. Why do more than half the jewelry pieces from vendors have useless stats? Why can’t I just make my own (game normalized and standardized) stat sets? Neglected, ignored, inconsistent. Even the achievements for maxing out ascended crafting professions completely leave out jewelry or cooking.
Then there are skills like Antitoxin Spray. The only skill added to the game since 2013 has been completely removed. No real explanation why (that I know of) and no refund on the hundreds of skill points I must have sunk into it. It wasn’t overpowered. It wasn’t completely useless. I can’t even guess as to why you would remove it. Every possible explanation gets shot down in my head. The only other new skills added since launch were one new heal skill per profession. 9 skills in 3 years and one of them was removed.
Of course it ain’t all doom and gloom. The expansion is coming and with that, new maps for WvW and I hope a new tournie. Some kind of update for fractals, there is a mastery line for fractals so I would assume something to go along with that. They did at one point include a bunch of items only found in S1 of Living Story on the laurel NPC. I don’t *really* need ascended jewelry crafting. Guild Halls seem to also be a revamp for Guild Missions as well so maybe those will be fixed up or new ones introduced. Hey I can be optimistic and positive!
I’m sure a lot of problems will be fixed with the expansion but when I hear them say they’re laying the groundwork for future features…
This expansion pack is all about laying the groundwork; the features that we need in place so that we can build that new character progression and new challenging content for years to come.”
I just shake my head. I can’t have any faith in those words because in my opinion when those words have been used previously they have just plain not been true. Here’s a great example. Arenanet talking about laying the groundwork for future Guild Missions about a month after the launch for Guild Missions.
It wasn’t enough to simply add some content for guilds to play and then call it done, we wanted to build the groundwork for future teams so they could extend and improve guild missions with relative ease.
Two years later they haven’t been touched (go ahead and call me out if there are new guild missions in the expansion) and that’s not my only example.
Arenanet introducing the champ bags.
As we go on with our project of updating our existing dungeons, we’ll monitor the changes to paths and update the rewards accordingly.
Which was said while they would have been working on Aetherpath, which launched a month later. Aetherpath was the last content update to dungeons, 2 years ago.
Hey I love Guild Wars 2, I appreciate the hard work Arenanet puts in. I paid 100 bucks for the expansion. I’m all in. But I need and want consistency.
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