October 30, 2015 at 1:01 pm | Posted in Dungeons, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, PvE | Comments Off on Dungeoneer
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I have a rival. Someone who pushes me to complete achievements, to raise my world experience in WvW, to increase my wealth, to even increase my account bound magic find percentage. Lately she’s been (at least pre-HoT anyway) on the warpath to complete Dungeoneer, a title acquired by attaining every single dungeon skin from all 8 dungeons. As such I’ve been spending a lot of time in them lately and been thinking about Guild Wars 2’s dungeons a lot.

One of the things my rival brought up recently is that Guild Wars 2’s dungeons, while flawed, are actually some of the best dungeons in the MMO industry. What makes them great is the amount of variety. Each path varies in difficulty, length, strategy, story, visuals and yes, exploits. That variety makes Guild Wars 2 dungeon paths far more repeatable.

Think about it. Every other MMO has dungeons that do not change. Worse, most MMOs I’ve ever played make low level dungeons redundant and useless. There’s no point to going back to low level dungeons and repeating end game dungeons is nauseatingly familiar, a terrible grind.

Even if only slightly in some cases (Crucible of Eternity) GW2’s dungeons always have differences, and those differences make dungeon grinding more bearable and the rewards are skins and gold that are always going to be worth going for no matter what level you are.

I don’t deny that these dungeons have big flaws with exploits, unintended behaviour, simplistic boss fights, and players taking advantage of every tiny time saving cheese possible, but in all honesty I still think we’ve got it better than a lot of other games. I think some players take our dungeons for granted, but what’s really disappointing is that Arenanet doesn’t appreciate what they have either.

It’s been pretty clear that they’ve had no intention of supporting dungeons for a very long time. The last major change to dungeons was the Aetherpath of Twilight Arbor, a Living Story addition in October of 2013 that essentially sounded the death knell for dungeons. It’s a fairly difficult path, especially the oozes in the beginning, and as a result a lot of people got discouraged. Arenanet saw the low activity numbers and hasn’t devoted a moment to the upkeep of dungeons since. Add to that the daily rewards for fractals but not dungeons, and the removal of the 8 unique dungeon vendors for one guy off in corner and you begin to see a pattern.

Unfortunately that’s not all. Dungeon rewards have been nerfed as of the launch of Heart of Thorns.

As the game progressed, we shifted focus from dungeons to fractals and raids, and we firmly believe that fractals and raids are the content that we want to continue to support. As a part of that process, we’ll shift some rewards away from dungeons and into other pieces of content.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not that money hungry and I’ll probably still do dungeons. But Arenanet’s neglect of one of my favourite parts of the game was already a problem for me.

They are actually pretty open about their reasoning.

The goals for reducing currency in dungeons are not entirely economic in reasoning, we’re shifting where we focus our resources and we’re focusing rewards where we’ll focus our own development.

Personally I think if the reason isn’t economic, this shouldn’t be happening. Why would you undermine one thing to promote another? They are actively sabotaging content to ensure the success of other content. Shouldn’t the success of raids and the fractal update be based on their own merits?

To add to that, their focus is hardly shifting since they didn’t have any focus on dungeons to begin with. As I’ve noted dungeons have been collecting dust for 2 years and fractals have received one major update since their release (November 2013) and one wing of one raid comes out in a couple weeks. It’s not as though resources are going to waste.

Also rewards from raids are limited to once a week and the issues I have with fractals (the point of allowing us to salvage our rings was to let us make money, so charging 1g per salvage is a kick in the face) and I don’t see how this fixes anything.

The nerfs are pretty staggering. Roughly, you now get about 1/3rd of the gold and 1/3rd the experience from a dungeon run.

This reminds me of Super Adventure Box in a lot of ways. Arenanet knows best so they’re going to tell us what we like to play. Maybe I won’t bother getting Dungeoneer after all. What would that title even mean? That I’ve toiled away at something that Arenanet actively discourages and disincentivizes? That I worked hard at something for little reward? That I love something despite how deeply it’s been undermined and ignored?

I’m not asking for the world, I’m just saying maybe stop dumping on dungeons Arenanet, they’re way better than you give them credit for.

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